Sertraline - oral

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Sertraline is used to treat depression.

It can also be used to treat certain anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (a condition that occurs after a very emotional traumatic experience), obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD (a disorder characterised by uncontrollable urge to do repetitive and ritualised behaviours), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (a condition characterised by depression, irritability and tension before menstruation).
How do I take this medicine?
Take Sertraline exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time every day.

Sertraline is available as a tablet or oral solution.

If you are taking the oral solution, use the dropper or measuring device provided to accurately measure out your dose. Mix it with 120 mL of water, orange juice, lemonade, ginger ale, or lemon/lime soda. Drink immediately.

The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe.

Sertraline must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Do not take Sertraline if you are currently taking a certain type of medicine to treat depression known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), or within 14 days of stopping the MAOI. Do not take Sertraline if you are taking linezolid (antibiotic), pimozide (medicine for uncontrolled movements) or disulfiram (medicine for alcohol dependence).
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • mood disorders including bipolar disorder (mood changes between feeling very high and very low)
  • epilepsy (fits or seizures)
  • glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
  • diabetes
  • history of bleeding problems
  • having thoughts of self-harm
  • liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child/elderly. Children/elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects.

Notify your doctor if you have recently undergone electroshock therapy (also known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT).

If you are going for certain laboratory test (e.g. urine test for benzodiazepines), inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine.

Medicines for depression such as Sertraline may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviour. As depression and some psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with an increased risk of suicide, it is important for you or your family members to monitor your condition especially at the start of treatment and if your dosage is still being adjusted. If you experience new or sudden changes in mood, behaviour, thoughts or feelings or a worsening of your depression with suicidal thoughts or attempts, harm to self or harm to others, contact your doctor immediately.

A certain enzyme called CYP2C19 is involved in the breakdown of Sertraline. Individuals who are poor metabolisers of CYP2C19 may experience enhanced side effects of this medicine (e.g. nausea, headache, difficulty sleeping) that may require dose adjustments. Although not routinely done, your doctor may advise you to undergo genetic testing to check if this medicine is best suited for you. If you know you have this gene type, inform your doctor.

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • You may need to monitor your height and weight or have routine tests (e.g. blood sodium or glucose levels). Your doctor will advise you about how often you will need to have these tests.
  • It is important for you to monitor your condition especially at the start of treatment and if your dosage is still being adjusted. Monitor for signs and symptoms of suicidal thoughts or actions, and unusual changes in behaviour or mood may be needed while you are being treated with this medicine.
What lifestyle changes should I make to cope with depression?

Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help increase energy and hormones in the body such as serotonin, endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that minimise mood swings. Get enough sleep, as lack of sleep may cause irritability, moodiness, sadness, and tiredness.
What side effects could I experience?
Sertraline may impair your mental or physical ability to perform certain tasks. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.

Other side effects include any of the following: headache, dizziness, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, dry mouth, diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, indigestion, decreased appetite, yawning, ringing in the ears, back pain, joint or muscle pain, difficulty sleeping, increased sweating, hot flush, tremors, and numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • very fast or irregular pounding heartbeat
  • unexplained bone pain or tenderness, swelling
  • changes in sex drive
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • difficulty in breathing
  • hallucinations, delirium
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Do not take Sertraline if you are currently taking a certain type of medicine to treat depression known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), or within 14 days of stopping the MAOI. Do not take Sertraline if you are taking linezolid (antibiotic), pimozide (medicine for uncontrolled movements) or disulfiram (medicine for alcohol dependence).

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
  • other medicines for mood disorder e.g. lithium, olanzapine, perphenazine, levomepromazine
  • medicines for migraine e.g. sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
  • medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital
  • medicine for diabetes e.g. tolbutamide, glibenclamide
  • blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin, ticlopidine
  • medicines for pain and inflammation (NSAIDs) e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen
  • St John's wort (herbal supplement)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Sertraline.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol and excessive consumption of grapefruit juice (more than 3 glasses a day).
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on sertraline - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2021 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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