Sertraline dosage (A Brief Guide)

In this guide, we will discuss the sertraline dosage, common side effects, precautions and important facts to consider when starting your sertraline treatment.  

Sertraline dosage

These usual dosages apply to the following strengths: 20 mg/mL; 50 mg; 100 mg; 25 mg

Your doctor may have prescribed a different dose depending on your condition and your symptoms, these are only references from medical sites. 

Pharmaceutical imprint

Sertraline tablets: Film-coated tablet.

They are white capsule-shaped, film-coated tablets debossed with ‘A’ on one side and ’82’ on the other side.

Sertraline dosage (A Brief Guide)

Adult dose for depression

Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day

Maintenance Dose: 50 to 200 mg orally once a day

Your doctor may adjust your dose in intervals of at least one week, for Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and acute episodes of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) may require several months or longer of sustained medical treatment.

Adult dose for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day

Maintenance Dose: 50 to 200 mg orally once a day

Your doctor may adjust your dose in intervals of at least one week, for Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and acute episodes of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) may require several months or longer of sustained medical treatment.

Adult dose for Panic Disorder

Initial dose: 25 mg orally once a day, increased after one week to 50 mg orally once a day

Maintenance dose: 50 to 200 mg orally once a day

Your doctor may adjust your dose in intervals of at least one week, these conditions may require several months or longer of sustained medical treatment.

These apply also  for:

  • Treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD)

Adult dose for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Initial dose: 25 mg orally once a day, increased after one week to 50 mg orally once a day

Maintenance dose: 50 to 200 mg orally once a day

Your doctor may adjust your dose in intervals of at least one week, these conditions may require several months or longer of sustained medical treatment.

These apply also  for:

  • Treatment of Panic Disorder
  • Treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD)

Adult dose for Social Anxiety Disorder

Initial dose: 25 mg orally once a day, increased after one week to 50 mg orally once a day

Maintenance dose: 50 to 200 mg orally once a day

Your doctor may adjust your dose in intervals of at least one week, these conditions may require several months or longer of sustained medical treatment.

These apply also  for:

  • Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress disorder
  • Treatment of Panic Disorder

Adult dose for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Continuous regimen:

-Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day during the menstrual cycle

-Maintenance dose: 50 to 150 mg orally once a day during the menstrual cycle

Cyclic regimen:

-Initial dose: 50 mg orally once a day starting 14 days prior to the anticipated start of menstruation through to the first full day of menses, and repeated with each new cycle

-Maintenance dose: 50 to 100 mg orally once a day

Your doctor may increase your dose in increments of 50 mg per menstrual cycle, increased at the onset of each new cycle; dosage adjustments may also include changes between regimens.

If a 100 mg once a day dose has been established with the cyclic regimen, a titration step of 50 mg per day for three days should be used at the beginning of each dosing period (luteal phase of the menstrual cycle).

Pruritus (Off-label)

25-100 mg daily for up to 5 years; 75-100 mg doses found to be most effective. 

Dose adjustments

These dose adjustments should be made for the lowest effective dose possible.

Switching from:

  • MAOI to Sertraline: at least 14 days space in between
  • From Sertraline to MAOI: at least 14 days space in between

Treatment withdrawal:

  • Stopping sertraline should be made gradually instead of abrupt cessation where possible. 
Sertraline dosage (A Brief Guide)

What is Sertraline?

Sertraline is the chemical component (generic) and Zoloft is the brand name.

Sertraline is classed as antidepressants that belong to the family of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) usually prescribed to treat depression.

 Sertraline works by helping to restore the balance of neurotransmitter serotonin which results in changes in your mood, feeling less anxious, sleep better, improves your concentration, among other benefits.

Important considerations

  • You should not start your treatment with sertraline if you are also taking pimozide or if you are being treated with methylene blue injection.
  • Do not use sertraline if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine 
  • Children and young adults are at a higher risk of suicidal thinking when first starting the treatment. Be aware of any changes in your mood or additional symptoms. Report them immediately to your doctor.

Before taking sertraline

  • Do not take sertraline if you are allergic or suspect you could be. 
  • If you are taking disulfiram (Antabuse) or the liquid form of sertraline, do not take sertraline or you could have a severe reaction to the disulfiram.
  • If you have any of the following medical conditions you should inform your doctor o make sure sertraline is safe for you: heart disease, high blood pressure, or a stroke; liver or kidney disease; a seizure; bleeding problems, or if you take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); bipolar disorder (manic depression); or low levels of sodium in your blood.
Sertraline dosage (A Brief Guide)

Sertraline side effects

Common side effects of sertraline include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Ejaculation disorder
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Agitation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Impotence
  • Sweating
  • Feeling unwell (malaise)
  • Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Increased appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Palpitations
  • Runny nose
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Weight gain
  • Yawning 

This list includes the most common side effects but there may be more sertraline side effects.

For more information consult with your doctor or pharmacist. 

Allergic reaction to sertraline

Seek emergency medical help if you any of the following signs of an allergic reaction to sertraline: skin rash or hives (with or without fever or joint pain); difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

If your symptoms get worse of you notice new symptoms report them your doctor, such as mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactivity  (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

If you have any of the following symptoms call your doctor immediately:

  • a seizure (convulsions);
  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling;
  • headache, confusion, memory problems, severe weakness, feeling unsteady (symptoms of low levels of sodium in the body); or
  • racing thoughts, increased energy, unusual risk-taking behavior, extreme happiness, being irritable or talkative.
Sertraline dosage (A Brief Guide)

How do I need to take Sertraline?

Take Sertraline exactly how your doctor prescribed it.

Follow the instructions on your prescription label. 

According to Jenna Fletcher from Medical News Today, if you are starting your treatment, follow these general guidelines or as instructed by your doctor:

  • Take it at about the same time every day.
  • Take with or without food.
  • Follow all instructions on the prescription packaging and from the doctor.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember to, but do not double the dose the next day.
  • Take only the amount that the healthcare provider has prescribed.

 What happens if I overdose?

According to WebMD If you have overdosed and have serious symptoms such as passing out or you have trouble breathing call emergency services. 

What happens if I miss my dose?

If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember.

If it is almost time for your next dose, discard the one you forgot and take the next one as regular.

Do not take a double dose to compensate for the one you forgot. It can carry to be detrimental. 

What happens if I suddenly stop taking my medication?

It is not recommended to stop taking your medicine suddenly. It can cause serious symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety, irritability, changes in your mood, feeling restless or changes in your sleep habits.
  • Headaches, sweating, nausea, dizziness
  • Electric shock-like sensations, shaking and confusion

If you are planning to stop your medication discuss it with your doctor since this medication should be removed gradually.

Sertraline interaction with other drugs

Sertraline may interact with the following substances (Rxlist.com):

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
  • Other medicines that make you sleepy such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotics, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicines for seizures or anxiety
  • Cimetidine,
  • Digoxin,
  • Fentanyl,
  • Linezolid,
  • Lithium,
  • St. John’s wort,
  • Tramadol,
  • 5-hydroxytryptophan,
  • Valproate,
  • blood thinners,
  • cough and cold medicines
  • other antidepressants,
  • heart rhythm medications, 
  • Migraine medicines.

See also:

Sertraline drug interactions (in more detail)

To consider when taking sertraline

Sertraline and other antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or suicidal behavior.

If you have any of the following symptoms contact your doctor or emergency services:

  • Attempts to commit suicide
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • Acting aggressive or violent
  • Thoughts about suicide or dying
  • New or worse depression
  • New or worse anxiety or panic attacks feeling agitated, restless, angry or irritable trouble sleeping
  • An increase in activity or talking more than what is normal for you other unusual changes in behavior or mood

Why is this blog post about sertraline dosage important?

It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking the medicine, how you should be taking it and the appropriate dosage after assessing your condition. 

Also, it is important to be informed about the possible side effects when taking sertraline.

For additional information or concerns, you may have to ask your doctor, pharmacist or read carefully the instructions that come with your medicine. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Recommended reading

  1. Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are
  2. Sertraline: What No One Will Tell You About (Pocket Pharmacy)
  3. The Zoloft Treatment – A Guide to the Antidepressant Sertraline
  4. Coming off Antidepressants: Successful Use and Safe Withdrawal
  5. Analysis of Sertraline Hydrochloride

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References 

Drugs.com/sertraline dosage

Drugs.com/Sertraline

Medscape

Rxlist.com

WebMD

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