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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Sertraline (Oral)

Sertraline (By Mouth)

Sertraline (SER-tra-leen)

Treats depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorder. This medicine is an antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use sertraline if you have had an allergic reaction to it. You should not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor (such as Nardil®, Marplan®, or Parnate®) within the past 2 weeks. The liquid form of sertraline contains alcohol and should not be taken with disulfiram (Antabuse®).

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Tablet, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with food to avoid stomach upset.
  • The oral liquid medicine must be diluted just before you take it. Use the dropper provided with your medicine to measure your dose.
  • Mix the oral liquid with one-half cup (4 ounces) of water, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, lemonade, or orange juice. Do not mix this medicine with any other types of liquid than those listed here. Drink the mixture right away.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking Coumadin®, sumatriptan (Imitrex®), or any medicines that make you sleepy (such as sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain killers, or sedatives).
  • Tell your doctor if you have taken an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®) within the past 2 weeks.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have seizures, diabetes, liver disease, or kidney disease.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • You may need to take this medicine for a couple of weeks before you start to feel better.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion, agitation, sweating, tremor, diarrhea, fever, and problems with coordination
  • Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
  • Fast pounding heartbeat
  • Painful, ongoing erection of the penis not caused by sexual arousal
  • Muscle stiffness, twitching, shaking, or uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Vision changes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Decreased interest in sex or loss of ability to ejaculate when having sex (men)
  • Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or weight loss
  • Headache
  • Nervousness, trouble concentrating, or trouble sleeping
  • Tremors (shakiness)
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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