Generic name: Sertraline.

Zoloft is a cyclic antidepressant. It increases the concentration of certain chemicals necessary for nerve transmission in the brain.

Quick Facts About Zoloft


Used to treat major depression — a low mood that persistently interferes with everyday life. Symptoms include: loss of interest in usual activities, disturbed sleep, change in appetite, constant fidgeting or lethargic movement, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty thinking or concentrating, recurring suicidal thoughts. Also used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Zoloft Dosage

Take exactly as prescribed. May take several days to a few weeks to observe improvement.

  • Usual adult dose: 50 milligrams taken once per day either in the morning or evening. Doctor may increase dose up to 200 milligrams per day maximum.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible unless several hours have passed. In that case, do not take missed dose: go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Zoloft Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

anxiety, dilated pupils, nausea, rapid heartbeat, sleepiness, vomiting. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: agitation, confusion, constipation, diarrhea or loose stools, difficulty with ejaculation, dizziness, dry mouth, fatigue, fluttery or throbbing heartbeat, gas, headache, increased sweating, indigestion, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, sleepiness, tremor, vomiting.

Less common Zoloft side effects: abdominal pain, abnormal hair growth, abnormal skin odor, acne, altered taste, anxiety, back pain, bad breath, breast development in males, breast pain or enlargement, bruise-like marks on the skin, changeable emotions, chest pain, cold or clammy skin, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), coughing, difficulty breathing, difficulty concentrating, difficulty swallowing, double vision, dry eyes, enlarged abdomen, excessive menstrual bleeding, eye pain, fainting, feeling faint upon arising, female sexual problems, fever, fluid retention, flushing, frequent urination, hair loss, heart attack, hemorrhoids, hiccups, high blood pressure, hot flushes, increased appetite, increased salivation, inflammation of nose or throat, inflammation of the penis, intolerance to light, itching, joint pain, lack of coordination, lack of menstruation, lack of sensation, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, menstrual problems, middle ear infection, migraine, movement problems, muscle cramps or weakness, muscle pain, need to urinate during the night, nosebleed, pain upon urination, painful menstruation, purple or red skin spots, racing heartbeat, rash, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, sinus inflammation, skin eruptions, sleepwalking, sores on tongue, speech problems, stomach and intestinal inflammation, swelling of the face, swollen wrists and ankles, thirst, tingling or pins and needles, twitching, urinary trouble, vaginal inflammation or discharge, varicose veins, vision problems, weight loss or gain, yawning. Other mental or emotional symptoms: abnormal dreams or thoughts, exaggerated feeling of well-being, depersonalization (“unreal” feeling), hallucinations, memory loss, paranoia, rapid mood shifts, suicidal thoughts, tooth-grinding, worsened depression.


Inform your doctor before combining Zoloft with:

cimetidine (Tagamet), diazepam (Valium), digitoxin (Crystodigin), lithium (Lithonate), MAO inhibitors such as Nardil and Parnate, other psychiatric medications such as Elavil and Mellaril, over-the-counter medications such as cold remedies, tolbutamide (Orinase), warfarin (Coumadin).

Avoid alcohol while taking Zoloft.

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Not known if Zoloft appears in breast milk.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • May experience weight loss. May trigger mania (grandiose, inappropriate, out-of-control behavior) or hyper behavior (hypomania).
  • Doctor will closely monitor if you have kidney or liver disorder.


HealthSurvey.org provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Zoloft side effects, please contact your healthcare provider