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Zoloft Side Effects

Updated on June 2, 2010
Sertraline HCl (generic Zoloft)
Sertraline HCl (generic Zoloft)

Zoloft is a medication that is used to treat depression and anxiety. For many people, Zoloft has been a successful component of their treatment. Some people have found the Zoloft side effects to be bothersome.

Common Zoloft side effects include drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, upset stomach, diarrhea, and insomnia. If a person is experiencing nausea or upset stomach after taking their dose of Zoloft, it might be beneficial to take Zoloft with food. Even eating a few crackers when taking the Zoloft can sometimes alleviate the nausea and upset stomach.

If the Zoloft side effects continue to be problematic, the person should discuss the side effects with the doctor. Sometimes, a change in the dosage is enough to alleviate the side effects. Often, the side effects will lessen over time.

Abruptly stopping Zoloft can cause Zoloft withdrawal symptoms. Zoloft withdrawal is sometimes called discontinuation syndrome. Zoloft withdrawal symptoms include nausea, dizziness, anxiety, hallucinations, tingling, sweating, vivid dreams, and irritability.

Though other medications can cause discontinuation syndrome, Zoloft is one of the medications that commonly cause discontinuation syndrome if stopped too quickly. To avoid Zoloft withdrawal symptoms, the person should follow the doctor's instructions for taking the medication. When stopping Zoloft, the medication should be tapered off slowly rather than abruptly stopping the medication.

Side effects of Zoloft can be serious. A person should contact the doctor immediately if the person experiences an unusual weight loss or weight gain, loss of appetite, easy bruising, seizures, black feces, decreased interest in sex, decrease in sexual ability, vomit that resembles coffee grounds, or uncontrollable shaking or tremor.

Some people experience drastic changes in their mood or mental functioning when taking a medication like Zoloft. The person should alert the doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment if they feel suicidal or have other severe mental changes.

Though it is rare, some people develop an allergic reaction to Zoloft which can be serious. If the person develops a rash, itchiness, trouble breathing, swelling, or severe dizziness, the person should seek emergency medical treatment.

Zoloft can cause potentially dangerous drug interactions. Patients should tell their doctors about any medications, prescription and over-the-counter, as well as dietary supplements that they are currently taking.

For more information about Zoloft, please see my article: Zoloft for Depression


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