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Sertraline Hydrochloride Oral tablet

What is this medicine?

SERTRALINE (SER tra leen) is used to treat depression. It may also be used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-trauma stress, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or social anxiety.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 7 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • black or bloody stools, blood in the urine or vomit

  • fast, irregular heartbeat

  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

  • hallucination, loss of contact with reality

  • seizures

  • suicidal thoughts or other mood changes

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • unusually weak or tired

  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in appetite

  • change in sex drive or performance

  • diarrhea

  • increased sweating

  • indigestion, nausea

  • tremors

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • cisapride

  • linezolid

  • MAOIs like Azilect, Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

  • methylene blue

  • pimozide

  • procarbazine

  • thioridazine

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • amphetamine or dextroamphetamine

  • aspirin and aspirin-like drugs

  • certain diet drugs like dexfenfluramine, fenfluramine, phentermine, sibutramine

  • certain migraine headache medicines like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan

  • medicines for sleep

  • medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin

  • medicines to control heart rhythm like flecainide or propafenone

  • metoclopramide

  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen

  • other medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances

  • pentazocine

  • ritonavir

  • St. John's wort

  • tolbutamide

  • tramadol

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder

  • diabetes

  • heart disease

  • liver disease

  • receiving electroconvulsive therapy

  • seizures (convulsions)

  • suicidal thoughts, plans, or attempt by you or a family member

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to sertraline, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Continue to take your medicine even if you do not feel better right away. It can take several weeks before you feel the full effect.

Patients and their families should watch out for worsening depression or thoughts of suicide. Also watch out for sudden or severe changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of antidepressant treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds or allergies without asking your doctor or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 7/29/2011
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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