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Sertraline – uses, health risks, and side effects at

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 by

Sertraline is used for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic disorder (PTSD). It is also used to alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), such as mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. In some cases, it is also used to treat headaches and sexual problems.

Sertraline is an antidepressant drug that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This drug works by increasing the amounts of serotonin, which is a natural substance in the brain that helps keep mental balance.

Sertraline is sold in drug stores under the brand name Zoloft. It comes as an oral tablet and a concentrate. It is usually taken once a day every morning or evening.

Sertraline should not be used by the following:

  • People allergic to sertraline
  • People taking pimozide
  • People taking disulfiram
  • People being treated with methylene blue injection
  • People who used a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine

Consult a medical professional before taking sertraline, especially if you ever had:

  • a heart problem, high blood pressure, or a stroke
  • liver or kidney disease
  • a seizure
  • bleeding problems
  • bipolar disorder
  • low levels of sodium

Known side effects of sertraline

The common side effects of sertraline include:

  • Agitation
  • Change in sleep habits, including increased sleepiness and insomnia
  • Increased sweating
  • Nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and indigestion
  • Sexual problems, including decreased sex drive and ejaculation failure
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Tremor or shaking

Sertraline can also cause other side effects such as:

  • Abnormal increase in muscle movement or agitation
  • Aggressiveness
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • More frequent urination
  • Nosebleed
  • Slowed growth rate and weight change
  • Urine leakage

Sertraline may also increase suicidal thoughts or behavior. It may also cause serotonin syndrome, which is life-threatening. Other serious side effects of sertraline include new or worse depression, anxiety, or panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, an increase in activity or talking more than usual, severe allergic reactions, abnormal bleeding, seizures or convulsions, manic episodes, changes in weight or appetite, low sodium levels, eye pain, vision changes, and swelling or redness in or around the eyes.

Body systems that may be harmed by sertraline

The body systems harmed by sertraline include the nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, metabolic, and integumentary systems.

Food items or nutrients that have similar effects to sertraline

The following food items and herbs are natural antidepressants:

  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Greens
  • Hemp
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Walnuts

Treatments, management plans for the sertraline’s side effects

The following are natural remedies for fatigue, one of the common side effects of sertraline:

  • Peppermint oil: Apply two drops of peppermint oil on a tissue or handkerchief. The, breathe it deeply. You can also add two drops of the oil and four drops of rosemary oil to bathwater, then soak in it.
  • Lie down: Lie on your back and put your feet at a higher level than your head using pillows. This can help fight fatigue by promoting blood flow to the brain.

Where to learn more


Sertraline is an SSRI drug used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic disorder (PTSD).

Sertraline commonly causes agitation, insomnia, increased sleepiness, nausea, increased sweating, loss of appetite, diarrhea, indigestion, sexual problems, tiredness and fatigue, and tremor or shaking.

Sertraline can increase suicidal thoughts or behavior, or cause serotonin syndrome.

Sources include: 1 2


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