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(Sertraline) Zoloft Side Effects In Women Vs Men, Photos, Effects First Week & Overdose Risks

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There are some serious Zoloft side effects to be aware of if you are taking this drug. Discover the dangers of Zoloft withdrawal, Zoloft overdose, and treatment options available to you or your loved one struggling with Zoloft addiction.

By We Level Up NJ Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: February 2, 2023

Sertraline Zoloft Side Effects

Common side effects of Zoloft may include nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, dizziness, and headache. Other more serious side effects are irregular heartbeat, seizures, and symptoms of serotonin syndrome. It is important to contact a doctor right away if any of these side effects occur. It’s also important to keep in mind that Zoloft may present an increased risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior, so regular monitoring of mental health is recommended.

Long-Term Zoloft Side Effects

Long-term side effects of Zoloft can include changes in appetite and weight, increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, sexual dysfunction, dizziness and lightheadedness, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue. It’s important to speak with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

What are the common Side Effects of Zoloft?

The most common side effects of Zoloft are nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, drowsiness, dry mouth, sweating, dizziness, sexual problems, and decreased appetite. Less common Zoloft side effects include changes in weight or appetite, headache, tremors, agitation, restlessness, fatigue, heartburn, muscle pain, and rash.

Other infrequent side effects of Zoloft include anxiety, blurred vision, fever, difficulty concentrating, mild confusion, joint pain, sore throat, upset stomach, and vomiting. Additionally, some people experience depression or insomnia associated with taking this medication.

Zoloft Antidepressant Risks

Zoloft, like all antidepressants, can potentially increase the risk of suicide in people under 24 years old. Therefore, it is very important to be alert to signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior in individuals taking Zoloft. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or behaviors while taking Zoloft, it is important to seek help right away.

It is very important that you talk to your doctor before taking Zoloft. Do not take Zoloft if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, if you are allergic to sertraline or any of the inactive ingredients in the medication, or if you are taking diuretics, thioridazine, linezolid, methylene blue injection, or any other medicine that may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.

Most Serious Zoloft Side Effects

If you are wondering, “what are side effects of Zoloft that are most severe?” or “what are the most common side effects of Zoloft?”, the most severe side effects of Zoloft include an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Other serious Zoloft side effects include seizures, unusually significant agitation and restlessness, confusion and hallucinations, extreme changes in blood pressure, and an irregular heart rate. These side effects should be reported to your doctor immediately if they occur.

Can You Overdose on Zoloft?

It is possible to overdose on Zoloft. Symptoms of an overdose can include nausea, vomiting, confusion, dizziness, and rapid or irregular heartbeat. If you or someone you know has taken an overdose of Zoloft, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

zoloft overdose warning: SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS.  ZOLOFT and other antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some people 24 years of age and younger, especially within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. Watch for these changes and call your healthcare provider right away if you notice new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, actions, thoughts, or feelings, especially if severe. Pay particular attention to such changes when ZOLOFT is started or when the dose is changed.
zoloft overdose warning: SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS. ZOLOFT and other antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some people 24 years of age and younger, especially within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. Watch for these changes and call your healthcare provider right away if you notice new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, actions, thoughts, or feelings, especially if severe. Pay particular attention to such changes when ZOLOFT is started or when the dose is changed.

Taking too much Zoloft can be dangerous and can lead to serious health complications. It is important to take Zoloft exactly as prescribed by your doctor and to let your doctor know if you experience any kind of side effect from the medication. It is also important to be aware of possible signs of an overdose, such as confusion, restlessness, sweating, or feeling overly excited or agitated.

Side Effects of Zoloft In-depth Review

The below side effects of Zoloft in-depth review will cover the common, rare, and potential side effects, taking Zoloft during pregnancy, dosages, drug interactions, warnings, and precautions.

GI Side Effects of Zoloft

Interestingly, there’s actually a lot of serotonin in the gastrointestinal tract, so people on Zoloft can experience changes in GI functions. That could mean an upset stomach, nausea, or changes in bowel habits like Zoloft diarrhea or constipation can be one of the leading Zoloft side effects. Experts suggest starting on the lowest possible dose to avoid these issues, then increasing the dosage as your system adapts to the extra serotonin.

Changes in Appetite / Zoloft Weight Gain 

Can Zoloft cause weight gain? If you are researching “does zoloft cause weight gain”. Yes, termed as “zoloft weight gain” this is a well reported side effect of Zoloft. Individuals taking Zoloft gained nearly two pounds over the course of a year, according to one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It’s not the only SSRI associated with Zoloft side effects weight gain, but if that’s a concern for you, talk to a specialist about your options.

Sexual Side Effects of Zoloft

This is one of the Zoloft side effects no one wants to talk about, but it can affect at least a third of individuals on SSRIs. It is not yet known why drugs like Zoloft side effects sexually, however, individuals can experience things like a lack of sex drive, difficulty to orgasm, or the inability to maintain or get an erection. For some people, the benefits of the medication will outweigh the negative Zoloft side effects on their sex life; for others, a change in prescription may be needed.

Night Sweats Side Effects of Zoloft

Zoloft and night sweats are one of the most common Zoloft side effects. It may not be dangerous at all, given that the person is seeing an internist regularly and has had a physical exam and lab work within the year to indicate there’s nothing else responsible for it. It is uncomfortable, though, so we recommend wearing sweat-wicking materials to bed and keeping your bedroom cool enough at night.

Increased Anxiety Side Effects of Zoloft

Does Zoloft help with anxiety? Another one of the more common Zoloft side effects is called akathisia. It’s like feeling restless or amped up like you need to move or like you’re unable to calm down. In some instances, akathisia can even feel like a panic attack. However, akathisia can be lessened by starting on a really low dose and slowly working your way up.

Trouble Sleeping Side Effects of Zoloft

In most cases, anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications help individuals sleep better. However, occasionally, unusual dreams, restlessness during sleep, or feeling like the sleep is altered in some way.

Behavior or Mood Changes Side Effects of Zoloft

Unmistakably, you want your mood to change while taking an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. However, the behavior or mood change that we’re most worried about is increased depression or suicidal thoughts, or a switch from depression to mania.

Any antidepressant intervention has the potential to flip someone who’s vulnerable, who has bipolar disorder rather than depression, into a mania, which is why it’s so crucial to make sure you have the right diagnosis before starting the Zoloft medication.

Serotonin Syndrome Side Effects of Zoloft

This is a catch-all term for what happens when there’s too much serotonin in the body. It affects blood pressure, but can also cause severe gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, and can even lead to fevers, confusion, and seizures—in extreme cases, it’s deadly.

For people who are just taking one medication, the risk is very low. However, the risk level rises if a person is on several medications that affect serotonin levels. Sometimes, individuals describe this as the bad flu—so on the off chance that it happens, call your doctor immediately. The treatment is to stop the medication [4].

Rashes Side Effects of Zoloft

Sometimes individuals taking the medication can develop increased skin sensitivity or rashes as a Zoloft side effect. It’ll typically go away on its own, and you can find relief in the meantime with an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-itch cream. However, if you show signs of an allergic reaction, such as itchiness, hives, or throat swelling shortly after you start the drug, you should stop taking it and report these symptoms to your doctor immediately. 

Headaches Side Effects of Zoloft

Headaches are a common Zoloft side effect when you first start taking the drug or when there is an increase in the dose. For most individuals, headaches go away after a few weeks as the body adjusts to the meds. If you experience occasional headaches while starting the medication, you may try common over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as Tylenol.

If your headaches are persistent, it is recommended to talk to your doctor, as it’s possible you may tolerate a different medication better.

Dry Mouth Side Effects of Zoloft

A dry mouth is another common Zoloft side effect that can sometimes persist. It’s necessary to pay attention to dry mouth because it can increase the risk of cavities and other oral issues. In addition, to maintain hydration and good oral hygiene, one could consider trying a mouthwash or toothpaste specifically designed for dry mouth.

Taking Zoloft During Pregnancy

Is Zoloft safe during pregnancy? It is typically recommended that women avoid taking Zoloft during their pregnancy, as it can increase the risk of birth defects, miscarriages, and other health concerns. If a woman is already taking Zoloft and discover she is pregnant, she should contact her physician immediately for further advice.

Rare Side Effects of Zoloft

While most individuals tolerate drugs well, people can experience rare side effects of coming off Zoloft. But, some may be serious. Serious Zoloft side effects such as seizures, vision changes, confusion, and dizziness while taking the drug can be dangerous. Discuss with your doctor any underlying conditions you have before you start any new medications, how Zoloft might interact with anything you’re already taking, and seek immediate help if you start experiencing any of these uncommon Zoloft side effects.

Zoloft Dosages

The recommended dosage for Zoloft (sertraline) is typically 25 mg per day, taken once daily. Dosage may be adjusted depending on a person’s individual medical needs. It is important to take Zoloft exactly as prescribed by a doctor and to not increase or decrease the dosage without medical advice.

Reported Zoloft Side Effects First Week

The most commonly reported side effects during the first week of taking Zoloft include nausea, diarrhea, sleepiness, headache, tremors, and sexual dysfunction. Other less common Zoloft side effects that may be experienced during the first week include dry mouth, fatigue, sweating, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and changes in appetite or weight.

Common side effects of Zoloft that may occur during the first week include nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, dry mouth, and drowsiness. Some people may experience dizziness or headaches as well. Additionally, some people might feel an increase in anxiety or agitation when taking Zoloft initially. This can be a normal reaction to starting treatment and will usually go away on its own with continued use of the medication.

It is important to talk to your doctor if any of these symptoms persist or become bothersome. There are ways to reduce the severity of side effects such as changing dosages or trying other medications if necessary. Your doctor can help you determine what works best for you.

How Long Until Zoloft Side Effects Go Away?

Are you wondering, how long until Zoloft side effects go away? It depends on the individual. Generally, side effects from Zoloft can start to go away within a few days to weeks. In general, most people will experience some sort of side effect when starting Zoloft.

However, these symptoms should subside within 1-2 weeks. If it takes longer than this or if any symptom becomes bothersome or severe, contact your healthcare provider right away. They can help determine the best course of action to keep you safe and healthy while taking Zoloft.

Overall, it is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to medications like Zoloft and that side effects will vary during the first week and that the most noticeable Zoloft side effects go away after the first two weeks.

What Is Zoloft?

Sertraline oral tablet is a prescription medication available as the brand-name drug Zoloft. This drug treats major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Zoloft belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) [1].

Zoloft works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain a healthy mental health balance. This can improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Just like with any other medication, knowing as much as possible about the drug you’ll be taking is crucial to making sure you maximize its inherent benefits. Knowing how to take Zoloft properly is necessary to ensure it works as efficiently as possible.

Zoloft is available in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets and a 20 mg/mL oral solution.

What is Zoloft Used For 

When taken correctly, Zoloft can make individuals feel less fearful or anxious and decrease the urge to perform repeated tasks. This drug can improve sleep quality, energy levels, and appetite, restore interest in daily life, and reduce unwanted thoughts and panic attacks.

How SSRIs Work

Serotonin is one of many brain chemicals that transmit messages between brain cells. It has been called the “feel-good chemical” because it causes a relaxed state of well-being. Normally, serotonin circulates in the brain and then absorbs into the bloodstream.

Depression is a mental condition linked with low levels of serotonin (as well as low levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and other brain chemicals). SSRIs prevent the blood from absorbing some of the serotonin from your brain. This leaves a higher level of serotonin in the brain, and increased serotonin can help relieve depression.

SSRIs don’t cause the body to make more serotonin. However, they help the body utilize what it has more efficiently. SSRIs are fairly similar in terms of how effective they are. They vary slightly in their side effects, what they’re used to treat, their dosage, and other factors.

SSRI Safety

Certain people should be cautious about using an SSRI. These include pregnant women and children. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) [2] added a black box warning to drug labels for SSRIs. The warning indicates an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and young adults. However, further research has suggested that the benefits of antidepressant medication may outweigh the risks of these suicidal thoughts.

SSRIs increase the risk of certain birth defects, especially lung and heart problems. Physicians and future moms must compare the risks of SSRI treatment to the risks of untreated anxiety and depression. Depression without treatment can also have a negative effect on a pregnancy. For example, depressed future moms may not seek the prenatal care they need. Some pregnant women may switch their SSRIs to reduce their risk while still treating their depression [3]. This is because different SSRIs have different side effects.

Combining Zoloft and alcohol can cause the antidepressant property of Zoloft to not work as well as it would on its own. Alcohol may allow the person to feel better in the short term. It may actually increase levels of depression and anxiety in the long run. Combining both can worsen alcohol cravings. Individuals with certain types of serotonin receptors are more sensitive to stimulation.

SSRIs result in greater serotonin activity, which can then trigger dopamine release and activate the brain’s reward pathway. Suppose alcohol is consumed while an SSRI induces this reaction. In that case, it can strengthen the association between alcohol and pleasure or in some cases, result in the formation of an association that was otherwise absent before.

Side Effects of Zoloft Safety Warnings

Taking antidepressant drugs can be a life-saving action, but those 24 and younger may encounter an unexpected risk. During the early days of being on medications like ZOLOFT or when dose adjustment occurs, carefully monitor one’s mood, behavior, and mental state for signs of increased suicidal thoughts as this is especially common in these age groups. Should any changes arise that are significant or concerning – even if seemingly harmless – contact your healthcare provider right away to ensure safety!

ZOLOFT is not for everyone. Before taking this medication, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently using an MAOI inhibitor like linezolid or methylene blue, have stopped in the last two weeks, and plan on starting soon; proceed with caution when taking Orap® (pimozide) as it can cause serious heart problems; and do not take this medicine if you’re allergic to sertraline or any of its inactive ingredients. Furthermore, those who may consume Antabuse® (disulfiram) should avoid ZOLOFT’s liquid form due to its alcohol content.

Taking ZOLOFT can come with potential risks, especially if you experience sudden changes in mood or behavior. If any of the following is observed – suicidal thoughts and actions, aggression, depression worsening, increased activity levels, restlessness, acting on dangerous impulses, anxiety attacks, or trouble sleeping – a doctor should be consulted right away for help.

Children: Zoloft is only approved for use by children over the age of 6 in the United States and should only be used in this age group under the supervision of a doctor.

Zoloft Overdose Safety Warnings

Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant medication that can be used to treat depression, OCD, panic disorder, and PTSD. Taking too much of this drug can lead to a variety of Zoloft overdose symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and confusion. In some cases, it can even result in a coma or death. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you or someone else has taken too much, resulting in an overdose on Zoloft.

Have you ever wondered if you can overdose on Zoloft? While it’s not common, it is possible to overdose on Zoloft. In this section, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms of a Zoloft overdose, as well as what to do if you or someone you know has overdosed on Zoloft medication.

A Zoloft overdose can be dangerous, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and Zoloft overdose symptoms, as well as some of Zoloft’s overdose treatment options.

Zoloft Overdose Symptoms & Signs

Symptoms of a Zoloft overdose include nausea, vomiting, agitation, confusion, delusions, hallucinations, tremors, seizures, drowsiness, coma, and slow or irregular heartbeat. Other signs may include increased heart rate and changes in blood pressure.

Zoloft Overdose Treatment

Treatment for a Zoloft overdose usually involves supportive care, which may include intravenous fluids (IV), medications to reduce stomach irritation, and medications to treat seizures, agitation, and other effects of the overdose. It’s also important to watch for any changes in the person’s mental status or condition. In some cases, further treatment may be necessary.

Zoloft Effects FAQs

  1. What is considered a high dose of Zoloft?

    The typical recommended dosage for Zoloft is 25mg per day. However, dosage may be adjusted depending on the severity of the condition and body type. Speak to your doctor to determine a suitable dosage for you.

  2. What is the best time of day to take Zoloft for anxiety?

    It is generally recommended that Zoloft should be taken once a day, in the morning or evening. Speak to your doctor to determine the best time to take Zoloft for anxiety.

  3. What are Zoloft side effects first week? 

    Common side effects of taking Zoloft during the first week of use can include nausea, tiredness, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and decreased appetite. If you are wondering, “does Zoloft make you gain weight?”, the answer is that Zoloft weight loss is a possible Zoloft first week side effects of taking the drug. If you experience Zoloft weight loss or other Zoloft side effects during the first week of use, speak to your doctor.

  4. What are Zoloft withdrawal symptoms?

    Zoloft withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, irritability, headaches, and fatigue. It’s important to contact your doctor if you experience any of these withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor can help you manage the side effects and find an alternate treatment option if necessary.

Zoloft marketing messages like "Experience a new way of living with Zoloft – happier, healthier, and more balanced today.", fail to highlight the flipside of Zoloft side effects.  Photo of what  Zoloft pills typically look like.
Zoloft marketing messages like “Experience a new way of living with Zoloft – happier, healthier, and more balanced today.”, fail to highlight the flipside of Zoloft side effects. Photo of what Zoloft pills typically look like.

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Zoloft Side Effects in Women 

In addition to the potential risks of a Zoloft overdose, it is also important to be aware of the potential side effects that can occur in women. Common side effects include headache, dizziness, anxiety, and insomnia. In more severe cases, some women have reported agitation, confusion, and suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking Zoloft.

It is important to speak with your doctor if you experience any of these side effects so they can adjust your dosage accordingly. Taking too much sertraline can increase the risk of serious side effects.

Zoloft is an effective medication for treating depression and other mood disorders but it is important to take it according to the directions provided by your healthcare provider. Taking too much Zoloft can be dangerous.

It is important to note that women may experience additional side effects from taking Zoloft, such as decreased libido, irregular menstrual periods, breast swelling and tenderness, breast enlargement, vaginal dryness, and sensitivity.

Pregnancy-related side effects of Zoloft in women: Zoloft is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women. It may cause harm to an unborn baby or a newborn baby. Consult your doctor if you are considering taking Zoloft if pregnant.

Zoloft Side Effects in Men

The most common side effects men may experience when taking Zoloft include decreased libido, difficulty achieving an erection, reduced semen volume, drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and dry mouth. Less common side effects that have been reported by men include tremors, agitation, and decreased appetite.

Less commonly reported side effects of taking Zoloft in men include difficulty concentrating, blurred vision, insomnia or unusual dreams, increased sweating, appetite changes, anxiety, or feeling of restlessness. While many of these side effects are usually mild and tend to go away over time, some may become more severe and should be reported to a healthcare professional.

Men should be aware that taking too much Zoloft can lead to serious health risks like nausea, vomiting, confusion, and even coma or death. It is important to follow all dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider and contact them immediately if you believe you may have taken too much sertraline.

Taking the correct precautions when taking Zoloft can help prevent any potentially harmful side effects from occurring.

Zoloft Side Effects in Women vs Zoloft Side Effects in Men

The side effects of Zoloft are generally similar between men and women, but there have been reports of some differences between genders. According to research, the most common side effects of Zoloft in men are ejaculatory disorder, anorgasmia, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction. In women, the most common side effects are nausea, headache, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and sexual dysfunction, such as decreased libido.

It is important to talk to a healthcare professional if the side effects are severe or bothersome, because in some cases a dosage adjustment may be necessary. In addition, some rare but serious side effects have been reported such as agitation, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, fainting, and fast or irregular heartbeat. Consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible if any of these symptoms occur.

Zoloft Sexual Side Effects

Some people may experience sexual side effects while taking Zoloft. These can include decreased sex drive, delayed ejaculation, and difficulty reaching orgasm. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these side effects as they may be able to suggest changes in dosage or other treatment options that could help reduce their severity. Your health should always come first so make sure you discuss any changes with your doctor before making them on your own.

Zoloft Drug Facts

Also known as Sertraline (generic name for Zoloft)

Zoloft / Sertraline Uses

What does Zoloft do? Zoloft is a prescription medication commonly prescribed to treat depression, panic disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. What is Zoloft for? It is an antidepressant that can help balance your mood and help you feel better. It can take two to six weeks for Zoloft to reach its full effect, and it is important to take it as prescribed.

Zoloft for Anxiety

How does Zoloft work for anxiety? Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant medicine that is often prescribed to treat anxiety disorders. It works by influencing the balance of certain chemicals in the brain, which can improve symptoms of anxiety. The dose and frequency of Zoloft can be adjusted depending on an individual’s response, so it’s important to discuss with your doctor your treatment goals and preferences.

Zoloft Side Effects

Although side effects are less common, they can include: nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, insomnia, headache, and dry mouth. It is important to talk to your doctor about any potential side effects related to taking the medication.

Is Zoloft A Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)?

Is Zoloft an SSRI? Yes, it can treat anxiety disorders like social phobias and panic attacks as well as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), PTSD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and panic disorder.

Is Zoloft a controlled substance? Zoloft is not a controlled substance.


Zoloft Availability

A prescription is required to receive Zoloft.


Zoloft & Alcohol

Zoloft and alcohol side effects: It is important to avoid mixing Zoloft and alcohol together since they can create dangerous interactions.

Can you drink on Zoloft? Mixing Zoloft and alcohol can increase the risk of experiencing side effects, such as drowsiness, confusion, and impair coordination. Taking Zoloft and drinking alcohol can also worsen underlying symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Zoloft Dosage 

Generally the recommended starting dose of Zoloft (sertraline) may begin at 25 mg taken once per day as needed. The dose can be increased gradually up to a maximum single dose of 200 mg per day.


Zoloft vs Lexapro 

Lexapro vs Zoloft: Both medications have similar efficacy for the treatment of depression, but there is evidence that Lexapro may be more effective for anxious symptoms. Lexapro has a slightly longer half-life than Zoloft and is therefore more forgiving with missed doses. Zoloft may be useful in cases of severe depression, but Lexapro may provide more relief from anxiety and OCD symptoms.


Prozac vs Zoloft

Zoloft vs Prozac: Prozac and Zoloft are likely equally effective in treating panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder when compared to one another. However, Zoloft might be more useful for treating social anxiety disorder. Zoloft and Prozac can have negative side effects. But Prozac is known to interact with more things.


Wellbutrin vs Zoloft

Zoloft vs Wellbutrin: Effective medications for treating depression include Zoloft and Wellbutrin. It can come down to possible interactions and negative effects while deciding between the two. Compared to Wellbutrin, Zoloft frequently results in higher nausea and sexual side effects. However, Wellbutrin may be more likely to result in diarrhea and dry mouth.


Celexa vs Zoloft

While Zoloft is FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder, Celexa is solely FDA-approved for the treatment of depression.


Zoloft Half Life

How long does Zoloft stay in your system? In men, mean peak plasma concentrations of sertraline (Cmax) occurred 4.5 to 8.4 hours after oral once-daily dosage in the range of 50 to 200 mg for 14 days. Plasma sertraline has a typical terminal elimination half-life of about 26 hours.


Zoloft Sexual Side Effects

Zoloft can cause sexual side effects in some people, such as decreased interest in sex, delayed ejaculation, and difficulty achieving orgasm. If you experience any of these side effects, speak with your doctor to make sure they are not related to your liver disease.

What are Zoloft sexual side effects

When it comes to sexual side effects, Zoloft can cause decreased libido, erection problems, and delayed or absent orgasm. These typically go away after a few weeks of taking the medication but may persist for some people.
There are lifestyle changes such as counseling or sex therapy that can help reduce these symptoms. Your doctor can provide more information on how to manage these side effects and help make sure you stay healthy while taking Zoloft.

Zoloft Brand Names

Brand names include Zoloft and Sertraline.


Zoloft Generic

Zoloft is the brand name for the generic medication sertraline. Sertraline is an antidepressant in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a chemical that regulates mood, in the brain.


Zoloft Weight Gain

Zoloft and weight gain: It’s important to note that Zoloft can cause weight gain. Do you gain weight on Zoloft? A 2014 study found that 16% of people taking Zoloft reported weight gain. However, the amount of weight gain can vary greatly and will depend upon other factors, such as diet, exercise and medication dosages.


Zoloft And Pregnancy

Zoloft pregnancy: Can you take Zoloft while pregnant? Consult a medical professional before taking Zoloft while pregnant.


Zoloft Side Effects In Women 

Zoloft Initial side effects for women: Common side effects of Zoloft in women include nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, drowsiness, and dry mouth. Other more serious side effects can include changes in libido, changes in weight and appetite, and adjustments in vision. Women should contact their doctor if they experience any of these side effects while taking Zoloft.

What are typical Zoloft side effects in women?

Zoloft common side effects in women can include digestive discomfort, motion sickness, diarrhea, appetite loss, loose stools, increased sweating, tremors, and sexual issues. If you are experiencing these side effects of Zoloft in women for longer than two weeks, go seek medical attention.


Zoloft Side Effects In Men

Zoloft most common side effects for men: Common side effects of Zoloft in men include nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, drowsiness, and dry mouth. Other more serious side effects can include changes in libido, changes in weight (known as the Zoloft weight gain) and appetite, and adjustment of vision. Men should contact their doctor if they experience any of these side effects while taking Zoloft.


Zoloft And Weed

Weed and Zoloft: Studies examining potential interactions between antidepressants and Zoloft are currently scarce. Although academic literature does not contain any clinically reported recognized drug interactions, medical professionals believe that taking cannabis and Zoloft together is dangerous.

Zoloft and Marijuana: For instance, it is impossible to predict a person’s physical and/or psychological response to cannabis or Zoloft. Smoking marijuana while taking Zoloft for panic disorder may make your anxiety worse because of the THC in marijuana. Some OCD sufferers may have paranoid thoughts, which could get worse if they use marijuana.


Paxil vs Zoloft

Both Zoloft and Paxil are prescribed for major depressive disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder are additional conditions for which Paxil is prescribed. Although Zoloft is not prescribed by doctors to treat these additional ailments, people do so nonetheless.


Zoloft Contraindications

The most common Zoloft contraindications include liver or kidney disease, a history of drug abuse, and certain allergies, as well as certain conditions such as bipolar disorder or seizures. Additionally, taking Zoloft with certain other medications can lead to dangerous interactions. It’s important to talk to your doctor about all medications you’re taking before starting Zoloft.

What are the Long-Term Side Effects of Zoloft? 

Zoloft, an antidepressant medication, can have a range of long-term side effects including increased risk of depression, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, insomnia, diuresis, and sexual dysfunction. Additionally, long-term use can increase changes in decreased appetite, weight changes, and mood swings.

Moreover, long-term side effects of Zoloft can include sexual dysfunction, difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, fatigue, and changes in appetite. If you experience any of these symptoms for a long period of time or they become bothersome, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider. They may suggest lifestyle changes or other treatments that could reduce the severity of these side effects.

Additionally, some people may develop tolerance over time and may require higher doses to maintain their desired therapeutic effect. It is important to discuss this with your doctor so that the dose can be monitored closely and adjusted as needed.

Overall, Zoloft can be an effective treatment for depression when taken as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Side Effects of Zoloft Statistics

According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in 2018 alone, there were over 3,000 reported cases of Zoloft overdose. Of these cases, 1,700 resulted in hospitalization, and 80 ended in death. These numbers demonstrate how important it is to follow all dosage instructions for taking Zoloft and seek medical assistance if you or someone else has taken too much of this medication. If you are concerned that you may be at risk for a Zoloft overdose, speak with your doctor about adjusting your dosage accordingly.

Taking the right precautions can help ensure a safe recovery and prevent any further harm caused by taking too much sertraline. If you or someone else is in need of medical help for a Zoloft overdose, contact 911 or your local Poison Control Center immediately. It is important to act fast and get the necessary help as soon as possible.

Side Effects of Zoloft Most Common FAQs

  1. How long until Zoloft side effects go away?

    If you are wondering “do Zoloft side effects go away?”, the answer is that most people will no longer experience these side effects within a week or two as their bodies adjust to the medicine.

  2. How long do side effects from Zoloft last?

    If you are wondering, “how long do side effects of Zoloft last?”, “what are the side effects of missing a dose of Zoloft”, “how does Zoloft make you feel?”, “how long does it take for Zoloft to work?”, “how long for Zoloft to work?”, “What are the missed dose of Zoloft side effect”, “what are the increased dose of Zoloft side effects”, “What are the typical Zoloft missed dose side effects”, “do the side effects of Zoloft go away?”, “what are the side effects of missing Zoloft dose”, “how long does the side effects of Zoloft last?”, or “how long do the side effects of Zoloft last?”, the answer is that Zoloft may induce negative effects, like the majority of antidepressants do. Until your body adjusts to taking the drug, common side effects may persist a week or two.

  3. Is it common to experience Zoloft drowsiness side effect?

    If you are wondering, “does Zoloft make you sleepy?”, the answer is that Sertraline users who take Zoloft have complained of feeling lightheaded and sleepy. Until you are aware of how this drug affects you, avoid driving or engaging in any activity that calls for concentration. If you’re taking a solution orally, you must dilute it just before you take it.

  4. Is it normal to experience Zoloft side effects anxiety?

    If you are wondering, “Is it normal to experience side effects of Zoloft anxiety?”, the answer is that akathisia is just another of the more prevalent Zoloft adverse effects. It’s similar to feeling agitated, pumped up, like you need to move, or like you can’t relax. Akathisia can occasionally resemble a panic attack. However, by beginning with a really low dose and gradually increasing it, akathisia can be minimized.

Zoloft & Depression Statistics

Antidepressants, including Zoloft, are a typical treatment for depression along with psychotherapy. When taking the first antidepressant, four out of ten patients experience improvement. The second or third antidepressant drug is frequently prescribed if the first one doesn’t work. Eventually, most people discover one that suits them. However, experts say that a lot of people who could benefit from antidepressants never try one, frequently out of apprehension.


24.3%

Both sexes’ and the overall rate of antidepressant use increased with age; the rate was highest among women 60 and older (24.3%).

Source: CDC

7.2%

An estimated 7.2% of adult Americans in 2018 experienced a major depressive episode.

Source: CDC

13.2%

13.2% of adults 18 and older used antidepressants between 2015 and 2018.

Source: CDC


If you’re experiencing too many Zoloft side effects because of withdrawal, you might consider talking to a substance abuse specialist for treatment options.
If you’re experiencing too many Zoloft side effects because of withdrawal, you might consider talking to a substance abuse specialist for treatment options.

Zoloft Precautions. Zoloft Black Box Warning.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies before taking Zoloft, including any other medications. This product might contain inactive ingredients that can lead to allergic reactions or other issues, such as tartrazine in some brands and latex in the medicine dropper. To learn more, speak with your pharmacist.

Zoloft Black Box Warning

The black box warning for Zoloft states that the use of sertraline (Zoloft) can increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in young adults, adolescents, and children. It’s important to speak with a doctor if you or someone you know is taking Zoloft, as they can help weigh the risks and benefits of this medication.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist of your medical history before taking this medication, especially of: bleeding issues, liver disease, seizure disorder, thyroid disease, personal or family history of glaucoma, and personal or family history of bipolar/manic-depressive disorder (angle-closure type).

A disorder that affects the heart rhythm could be brought on by Zoloft (QT prolongation). Rarely, QT prolongation can result in a fast/irregular heartbeat that is severe (rarely fatal) and other symptoms including acute dizziness and fainting that require immediate medical intervention.

If you take other medications or have certain medical problems that could raise your risk of QT prolongation, you should consult your doctor. The following conditions should be disclosed to your doctor or pharmacist before using sertraline: certain heart issues (heart failure, sluggish heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

Your risk of QT prolongation may also increase if your blood contains insufficient amounts of potassium or magnesium. This risk could rise if you take specific medications (such as diuretics or “water pills”) or experience symptoms like excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Consult your doctor about the safest way to use Zoloft.

You might feel lightheaded or sleepy after taking this medication. You may become more woozy or sleepy after consuming alcohol or marijuana (cannabis). Until you can do it safely, avoid operating machinery, driving, or doing anything else that requires alertness. Avoid drinking on Zoloft. Consult your physician if you use marijuana (cannabis).

This medication can come in a liquid form, which contains alcohol. If you have diabetes, alcoholism, or liver disease, use caution. When combined with alcohol, some drugs (like metronidazole and disulfiram) can have severe side effects. Inquire with your doctor or pharmacist about the safe use of this product.

Inform your surgeon or dentist of all the products you use prior to surgery (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

The adverse effects of this medication, particularly bleeding, loss of coordination, or QT prolongation, may be more severe in older adults. Loss of coordination can make falling more likely. A type of salt imbalance (hyponatremia) may also be more common in older people, especially if they take “water pills” (diuretics).

Children may be more sensitive to the drug’s side effects, particularly appetite loss and weight loss. Children taking this medication should have their weight and height measured.

This medication should only be taken during pregnancy if absolutely necessary. A developing child could be harmed. Additionally, babies born to mothers who used this substance in the final three months of pregnancy may sporadically exhibit withdrawal symptoms like difficulty feeding or breathing, seizures, muscle stiffness, or unceasing crying. Inform the doctor right away if you observe any of these in your newborn.

Do not stop taking this medication unless your doctor instructs you to do so because untreated mental/mood issues (such as depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder) can be a serious condition. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using this medication during pregnancy with your doctor as soon as you become pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or suspect that you might be pregnant.

This medication passes into breast milk. Before breastfeeding, speak with your doctor.

Off-Label Zoloft Uses

Zoloft also has several off-label uses. Off-label means the medication has not gained FDA approval. Since Zoloft works by altering brain chemistry, some doctors may prescribe it to patients with various issues. But, there is no extensive clinical trial data for off-label uses, and the FDA has not reviewed Zoloft for effectiveness or safety for these indications. There are also no official dosages for these uses.

Some off-label uses may include:

  • Alcoholism
  • Autism
  • Dementia
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Obesity
  • Eating disorders
  • Hot flashes
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Personality disorders
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Premature ejaculation
There are some serious Zoloft side effects to be aware of if you are misusing or abusing this drug. If you experience any of these, contact a substance abuse specialist right away.
There are some serious Zoloft side effects to be aware of if you are misusing or abusing this drug. If you experience any of these, contact a substance abuse specialist right away.

Zoloft Symptoms – Overdosing On Zoloft

Can you overdose on Zoloft? Overdosing on Zoloft is more serious than missing a dose. There are no reported cases of fatal Zoloft overdoses. However, taking too much of this medication can cause serious Zoloft side effects or health complications. Purposefully or accidentally taking two or more doses of Zoloft could cause:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat

In rare cases, consuming too much Zoloft can also cause serotonin syndrome, which results in dangerously high levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. When there’s too much serotonin in the brain, this can cause diarrhea, confusion, and headaches. More severe symptoms may include seizures, muscle rigidity, hallucinations, and comas.

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Zoloft Withdrawal

Zoloft withdrawal is a form of SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome. This condition will affect about 20% of people who use an SSRI. Zoloft has a short half-life. Therefore its effects quickly wear off. Typically, drugs with a shorter half-life may indicate more potential withdrawal problems.

When someone suddenly stops using Zoloft, their serotonin levels will abruptly decline. As a result, the person may experience physical as well as mental bad Zoloft side effects. Therefore, it is essential to consult a professional to detox by gradually reducing the number of drugs until the person stops completely. This method is sometimes called a “tapering strategy.”

The length of time someone has been taking Zoloft will usually determine the length of the tapering strategy. Typically, tapering lasts four weeks, but experts may suggest tapering the medication over 6–8 weeks to reduce the risk or severity of symptoms and starting Zoloft side effects [5].

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Zoloft Withdrawal Symptoms

The side effects of stopping Zoloft and typical Zoloft withdrawal side effects can include:

  • Chills
  • Vertigo
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Recurring nightmares
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Tingling sensations in the skin

Zoloft Interactions

Drug interactions could alter how your medications function or raise the possibility of serious negative side effects. Keep a list of everything you use, including herbal products, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications, and give it to your doctor and pharmacist. Without your doctor’s approval, never start, stop, or change the dosage of any medications.

Pimozide and other medications that can cause bleeding or bruising (such as antiplatelet medications like clopidogrel, NSAIDs like ibuprofen/naproxen, and “blood thinners” like warfarin/dabigatran) are a few examples of products that may interact with this medication.

This medication may interact negatively (and even fatally) with MAO inhibitors. When using this medication, do not take MAO inhibitors such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, or tranylcypromine. The majority of MAO inhibitors should be avoided for two weeks prior to and following treatment with this medication. 

If you are also taking other medications that increase serotonin, your risk of developing serotonin syndrome or toxicity rises. Street drugs like MDMA/”ecstasy,” St. John’s wort, some antidepressants (including other SSRIs like fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs like duloxetine/venlafaxine), and tryptophan are a few examples. When you first start taking these medications or increase the dose, the risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may increase.

If you use any other products that make you drowsy, such as alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (like cetirizine and diphenhydramine), sleep or anxiety medications (like zolpidem, alprazolam, or diazepam), muscle relaxants, or opioid painkillers or cough suppressants, let your doctor or pharmacist know (such as codeine, hydrocodone).

All of your medications, including allergy and cold/cough remedies, should have their labels read carefully because they may contain drowsiness-inducing ingredients. Inquire with your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

When combined with this drug, aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding. However, if your doctor has advised you to take low-dose aspirin (typically 81–162 milligrams a day) to prevent heart attacks or strokes, you should keep doing so unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

This medication may affect the results of some medical tests and lab procedures, including brain scans for Parkinson’s disease. Make sure all of your doctors and lab staff are aware that you use this medication.

  1. What are the side effects of Wellbutrin XL and Zoloft combination?

    Combining these drugs could make seizures more likely, which can happen rarely with either drug alone. Sertraline levels in the blood may rise as a result of buPROPion, which may also lead to an increase in additional negative effects.

  2. How long does it take for Zoloft to work?

    If you are wondering, “how long does Zoloft take to work?”, the answer is the first two weeks may see some improvement in sleep, energy, or hunger. These bodily symptoms becoming better can be a crucial early sign that the drug is working. It may take up to 6–8 weeks for a depressed mood and lack of interest in activities to completely improve.

  3. Does Zoloft make you tired?

    Sertraline, the active ingredient in Zoloft, can make some people sleepy or unable to fall asleep, while making other people feel fatigued or sleepy. It could be beneficial to take the prescription first thing in the morning if you have trouble falling asleep.

  4. Is Zoloft addictive?

    It is safe to use Zoloft for months or even years because it is a long-term drug. However, because it is a substance that alters consciousness, dependence may develop. A person has become reliant on Zoloft when they find it difficult to function normally or get through the day without taking it.

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Zoloft Detox Treatment

Many forms of drug abuse treatment are common, but the first step toward a successful recovery is Zoloft detox. Withdrawal from Zoloft requires care from detox specialists. Medically–assisted Zoloft detox removes the element of needless suffering and minimizes the potential risks of withdrawal. 

Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health conditions is part of setting clients up for success.

Following detox, most clients will receive recommendations to continue with their Zoloft addiction treatment. Any addiction treatment program for Zoloft should be integrated with individual or group therapy.

Typically, treatment continues in the form of inpatient rehab, with a special focus on the following aspects of Zoloft addiction recovery:

Exercise has a powerful antidepressant effect. People are far less likely to relapse after recovering from depression if they exercise three times a week or more. Exercise makes serotonin more available for binding to receptor sites on nerve cells, so it can compensate for changes in serotonin levels as the person tapers off SSRIs and other medications that target the serotonin system. Check in to a facility that offers holistic treatment and programs that promotes physical activities.

How to wean off Zoloft?

The effects can be lessened or completely avoided by gradually weaning off Zoloft under a doctor’s supervision. Typically, sertraline is tapered down over a period of four weeks. Reduce the dose by 50 mg every 5-7 days for a total of 25–50 mg before stopping the medication, according to an example taper schedule.

Find The Right Treatment Plan For Zoloft Side Effects

Reach out at We Level Up NJ today!
Reach out at We Level Up NJ today!

Please, do not try to detox from Zoloft on your own. The bad side effects from Zoloft can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up NJ provides proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our medically-assisted Detox Program. So, reclaim your life, call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Top Zoloft Side Effects FAQs

  1. What are Abilify and Zoloft combination side effects?

    Use of Zoloft (sertraline) & Abilify (aripiprazole) together may ^ “risk and/or severity of side effects such as drowsiness, seizure, Parkinson-like symptoms, abnormal muscle movements, and low blood pressure.” However, they are usually fine together.

  2. What are Wellbutrin and Zoloft together side effects?

    For the most part, the bad side effects of Zoloft and Wellbutrin are pretty similar. Dry mouth, constipation, headaches, insomnia, and nausea are shared side effects between the two.

  3. What are Zoloft and birth control side effects?

    Zoloft (sertraline) may be safely taken with birth control pills as there is no reported or listed interaction between the two. As long as you can tolerate taking your birth control pills and Zoloft (sertraline) together, there is no reason you cannot continue to take them at the same time. 

  4. What are Zoloft side effects with alcohol?

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft because the two can cause similar side effects and dangerous interactions. Moreover, alcohol and Zoloft can worsen the symptoms of depression, which may make any antidepressant less effective and increase the risk of suicidal behavior.

  5. What is Zoloft side effects first week?

    Zoloft side effects first week during the first week or two of taking Zoloft include nausea, headaches, fatigue, and constipation are typical side effects. Once your body adjusts to the medication, these side effects ought to disappear. Call your doctor or 911 if you experience any serious side effects or if your side effects persist after a few weeks.

  6. What are typical Zoloft side effects in men?

    Male sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, ejaculation disorder, and failure to ejaculate were the most frequent adverse for side effects for Zoloft in men.

  7. What are the common Zoloft sexual side effects?

    Notably, sexual side effects like decreased libido and trouble with orgasms are possible with Zoloft and other antidepressants. These side effects frequently disappear a few weeks after the medication is started. Some people may experience side effects as long as they take the medication.

  8. What are the long-term side effects of Zoloft?

    Zoloft long term side effects include gaining weight, also termed as the Zoloft weight gain, experiencing sexual dysfunction, memory loss, and cognitive dysfunction. If you experience these long term side effects of Zoloft for longer than two weeks, please seek out medical attention.

  9. How long until Zoloft’s side effects go away?

    If you are wondering, “how long do zoloft side effects last?”, “what are the Zoloft increased dose side effects?”, “what are the Zoloft increased dosage side effects?”, or “what are the Zoloft dose increase side effects?”, the answer is as your body begins to process Zoloft, you might initially feel strange or off while taking it. Most people will no longer experience these side effects after a week or two as their bodies adjust to the medication.

  10. Does Zoloft cause weight gain?

    Yes, the Zoloft weight gain side effect is a well-known side effect of Zoloft. According to Zoloft’s prescribing information, weight gain is listed as a potential side-effect of Zoloft. However, other factors such as diet, exercise, and age, may contribute to weight gain.

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Sources

[1] NIDA – https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-cns-depressants
[2] FDA – https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/019839S74S86S87_20990S35S44S45lbl.pdf
[3] CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/meds/treatingfortwo/features/ssrisandbirthdefects.html
[4] SAMHSA – https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/sma12-4688.pdf
[5] We Level UpZoloft Withdrawal Treatment

Halperin, D., et al. (2007). Influence of antidepressants on hemostasisDialogues in Clinical Neuroscience.

Kelly, K., et al. (2008). Toward achieving optimal response: Understanding and managing antidepressant side effectsDialogues in Clinical Neuroscience.

Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (2022). Sertraline tablet [package insert].

Montejo, A. L., et al. (2019). Management strategies for antidepressant-related sexual dysfunction: A clinical approachJournal of Clinical Medicine.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (n.d.). National suicide prevention lifeline.

National Institutes of Health (NIH). 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/nidamed-medical-health-professionals/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis/overdose-statistics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sertraline: Side Effects & Overdose Guidelines. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/