Sertraline (SER-trah-leen) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI class). It’s mostly commonly used to treat depression, but it’s also prescribed for people with panic attacks, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Like many types of medicine, sertraline has a number of names that can be the source of confusion. Sertraline is the generic name and the active ingredient in the medicine, but it is often called by the brand names Lustral and Zoloft. Sertraline works by increasing the levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain (hence its classification as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). This helps to restore balance to the overall levels of chemicals in the brain. Higher levels of serotonin can help lift mood, reduce panic attacks and effectively treat OCD. You are also at risk of getting ‘Serotonin syndrome’. This is when you can get a high fever, agitation, confusion, trembling, or weird movements of your muscles. Not everyone will experience side effects with sertraline. Some of the more common side effects are listed at the bottom of this page. If you are experiencing a problem that might be a side effect, but that is not listed here, please take a look at the patient information leaflet that was in the medicine packet or speak to your pharmacist or doctor. If you think you have a side effect that has not got better within a few days go back to your doctor. Some side-effects of sertraline may - strangely - seem like other mental health symptoms. Some side-effects here are also the opposites of each other.
It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks for sertraline to work. Side effects such as feeling sick, headaches and trouble sleeping are common. They're usually mild and go away. Find a comprehensive guide to possible side effects including common and rare side effects when taking Zoloft Sertraline Hcl for healthcare professionals and consumers.