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. Follow the directions on the prescription label.
Before taking your dose, you need to dilute the solution in a beverage. Measure your medicine dose using the dropper in the bottle. Next, place the measured dose in at least 4 ounces (one-half cup) of water, ginger-ale, lemon-lime soda, lemonade or orange juice and mix. Do not mix in grapefruit juice or in any other liquids other than those listed.
Drink all of mixed liquid immediately. Do not mix the dose and store it for later. It must be taken right away. You may take this medicine 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
suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
MAOIs like Azilect, Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
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
NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
other medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
St. John's wort
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
receiving electroconvulsive therapy
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
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.
This medicine contains a high-percentage of alcohol that may interact with medicines used to treat alcohol abuse, like Antabuse. You should not take these medicines together.
If you have been taking this medicine regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or your symptoms may get worse. Ask your doctor or health care professional for advice on slowly stopping this medicine.
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.