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Zoloft, with the generic name sertraline, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant.

Last Modified: 07 May 2024

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What is Zoloft? 

Zoloft, with the generic name sertraline, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It is composed of sertraline hydrochloride as the active ingredient, alongside other inert components that aid in drug delivery and stability. 

A quick breakdown of Zoloft’s structure reveals sertraline hydrochloride as a crystalline substance. It is synthetically produced and has a chemical formula of C_17H_17Cl_2N. 

Global Name

Generic name:  Sertraline
Brand names: Lustral, Sertralin, Asentra, Gladem 


What is Zoloft used for? 

Zoloft is primarily used for the treatment of depression and a range of other psychiatric disorders. It is labelled/indicated for treating: 

  • Major depressive disorder 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • Panic disorder 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Social anxiety disorder 
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

How do you use Zoloft? 


Zoloft is available in tablet and oral concentrate forms.  

Dosage information: 

  • Adults: Starting dose is typically 50 mg once daily for most indications. 
  • Children: Dosage varies by condition and age; consult a pediatrician. 
  • Elderlies: May require a lower starting dose due to metabolism differences. 


  • Children: Yes, but only for OCD for children aged 6+ and for other conditions as prescribed. 
  • Adults: Yes, across various conditions. 
  • Elderlies: Yes, with close monitoring and possibly lower doses. 

Is there anyone who can’t take Zoloft? 

  • Children: Not recommended for children under 6 or for conditions other than OCD. 
  • Adults: Those with hypersensitivity to sertraline or its ingredients. 
  • Elderlies: Caution is advised due to potential heightened sensitivity. 
  • Pregnancy: Should be taken only if the potential benefit justifies the risk. 
  • Lactation: Sertraline is excreted in breast milk; a risk/benefit assessment is necessary. 
  • Allergies: Those with known allergies to sertraline or SSRIs should avoid Zoloft. 

Any warnings and precautions : 

It's generally advised to take Zoloft with food to reduce gastrointestinal side effects & improve absorption. May have risk of bleeding due to platelet inhibitory effect of Zoloft. 

Drug Interactions: 

Zoloft should not be used with MAO inhibitors, pimozide, or disulfiram (Zoloft solution contains alcohol as preservative). Caution with blood thinners and other SSRIs or SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors).

Side Effects

Common side effects include nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, and insomnia. Severe side effects can include serotonin syndrome and QT prolongation. 

Pharmacist Tips

  • Storage information: Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. 
  • Handling instructions: Handle oral concentrate with care, and dilute properly before use. 


Where is Zoloft available in Hong Kong?

Zoloft is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers then bought at pharmacies.



What is considered a high dose of Zoloft? 

A high dose of Zoloft would typically refer to doses at or above the upper end of the therapeutic range. This could be considered as doses exceeding 150 mg or 200 mg per day. 

How long does it take for Zoloft to work? 

Symptoms may improve within a few weeks, but it can take up to six weeks to feel the full effect. 

Can I drink alcohol while taking Zoloft? 

Alcohol can increase the risk of Zoloft's side effects, so it is best to avoid or limit consumption. 

Can Zoloft be taken during pregnancy? 

Zoloft should only be taken if absolutely necessary and if the benefits outweigh the risks. Always consult with a healthcare provider. 

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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