By Irfana
B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)
21 October 2021 -
Medically reviewed by
D. Pharm
What is Sertraline Hydrochloride?
Table of Contents

Sertraline, sold under the brand name Zoloft, is an antidepressant of the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) class. It was invented and developed at Pfizer and approved for medical use in 1991 in the United States. It is on the list of essential medications of the World Health Organization.

Sertraline is available as a generic medication. In 2016, it was the most commonly prescribed psychiatric medication & in 2019, it was the 12th most frequently prescribed medication, with over 37 million prescriptions in the United States. (Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A)

Uses of Sertraline Hydrochloride

The drug treats major depressive disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also alleviates the symptoms of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder and can be used in sub-therapeutic doses or intermittently for its treatment. It is not available over-the-counter. You can buy Sertraline online from a certified online pharmacy, only if you have a legit prescription from a licensed doctor.

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Sertraline may be used as a part of combination therapy. You may administer it with other medications. Sertraline is better tolerated when compared with older tricyclic antidepressants, and it might work better than fluoxetine for some subtypes of depression. It is not approved for use in children except those with OCD.

According to a study by McMahon, CHRIS G. "Treatment of premature ejaculation with sertraline hydrochloride: a single-blind placebo controlled crossover study." The Journal of urology 159.6 (1998), The efficacy of the drug on 37 patients aged 19-70 years old with premature ejaculation were treated with 50mg of sertraline hydrochloride. All the men were either in a stable, healthy relationship or married.

It was observed that after 4 weeks of treatment, 5 patients achieved intravaginal ejaculation with primary premature ejaculation while 2 patients experienced an ejaculation. In conclusion, it was found that sertraline appears to be a helpful agent in the treatment of premature ejaculation.

How to Use Sertraline HCL?

Take this medication orally as directed by your healthcare physician, typically once daily, either in the evening or morning. The tablet or liquid form of the medicine can be administered with or without food. The capsule form should be administered with food. Swallow the whole capsules, avoid crushing or chewing the capsules.

The liquid form of the medicine must be mixed with another liquid before use. Mix the dose with a half cup of water, ginger ale, lemonade, lemon-lime soda, or orange juice. Avoid using others to mix this drug. Do not prepare it in advance.

The dosage is based on your medical condition & the response to the treatment. To reduce the risk of side effects, your healthcare physician may start it at a lower dose & gradually increase it. Follow the instruction as per your healthcare physician carefully. Take the medication regularly to get the utmost benefit from it. Report any worsening or new symptoms to your healthcare physician right away. (Huecker MR, Smiley A, Saadabadi A)

Dosing Information

Adult dose for depression:

  • Initial dose- 50mg once a day
  • Maintenance dose- 50 to 200mg once a day

Adult dose for obsessive compulsive disorder:

  • Initial dose- 50mg once a day
  • Maintenance dose- 50 to 200mg once a day

Adult dose for panic disorder:

  • Initial dose- 25mg once a day, you may increase it after a week to 50 mg once a day
  • Maintenance dose- 50 to 200mg once a day

Adult dose for post-traumatic stress disorder:

  • Initial dose- 25mg once a day, you may increase it after a week to 50 mg once a day
  • Maintenance dose- 50 to 200mg orally once a day

Adult dose for social anxiety disorder:

  • Initial dose- 25mg once a day, you may increase it after a week to 50 mg once a day
  • Maintenance dose- 50 to 200 mg once a day

Pediatric dose for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

For 6 to 12 years-

  • Initial dose- 25mg once a day
  • Maintenance dose- 25 to 200mg once a day

For 13 to 17 years-

  • Initial dose- 50mg once a day
  • Maintenance dose- 50 to 200mg once a day

How to take sertraline hydrochloride?

The dosage information is for the oral sertraline tablet. Your dosage, drug form, & how frequent you take them depends on the following-

  • Age
  • Condition being treated
  • Severity of your illness
  • Other medical conditions

Reaction of yours to the initial dosages 


Avoid sertraline if you are taking pimozide or being treated with methylene blue injection. Avoid sertraline if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days like isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Some young adults have thoughts about suicide before taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms and report them to your healthcare physician.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have serotonin syndrome like agitation, shivering, twitching, loss of coordination, fast heart rate, fever, sweating, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea.

Your healthcare physician or pharmacist will provide you with the manufacturer’s guide at the beginning of the treatment. Read the instructions carefully and follow the guide. Consult your healthcare physician if you have any queries. From the official FDA website, you can obtain the medication guide.

Drug Interactions

Drug interaction can change the working and mechanism of your medication, or it may also increase the risk of severe side effects. It is always recommended to keep a list of all the products you use and share it with your healthcare physician. Do not start, stop, or alter the medication dose without your healthcare physician's approval. 

The risk of serotonin syndrome increases if you are consuming other drugs that increase serotonin. Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding when used along with sertraline. Consult your healthcare physician if you're consuming products that cause drowsiness like alcohol, marijuana, antihistamines, drugs for anxiety and insomnia, muscle relaxants, and opioid pain or cough relievers.

Side effects of Sertraline Hydrochloride:

Some of the common side effects of sertraline hydrochloride include-

  • nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and indigestion
  • change in sleep habits, including increased sleepiness and insomnia
  • increased sweating
  • sexual problems, including decreased sex drive and ejaculation failure
  • tremor or shaking

Additional side effects of children may include-

  • abnormal increase in muscle movement or agitation
  • nose bleed
  • more frequent urination
  • urine leakage
  • aggressiveness
  • heavy menstrual periods
  • Slowed growth rate and weight change

If you are experiencing mild side effects, they may vanish within a couple of days or weeks. But if these effects are severe, you need to consult your healthcare physician or pharmacist.

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