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Zoloft (sertraline): A Review of Important Precautions and Side Effects

Tips for patients and their caregivers on how to safely use sertraline, and an overview of common side effects

Video transcript

>> Hello and welcome to "VideoScript", presented by

Today in the final of three presentations, we continue reviewing sertraline, known by the brand name of Zoloft. We will briefly look at issues related to safety.

Antidepressants such as sertraline can be a life-changing therapy for many patients with depression. However, like many drugs, SSRIs are associated with important precautions and side effects that are important to review.

Antidepressants may rarely increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescent and young adults; however, depression itself is also associated with a risk of suicide.

Sertraline is not approved for use in children with depression; in pediatric patients it is only approved for use in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Family members and caregivers should closely observe the behaviors of those receiving any antidepressant, especially during the first few months of therapy and when there is a change in dose.

The physician should be contacted if any unusual changes in behavior are observed. The risk of using sertraline should always be balanced against the need for the antidepressant.

Patients with impaired liver function may need to have their doses of sertraline adjusted.

Gastrointestinal side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting may occur with the use of sertraline. If these side effects do not decrease or become intolerable, contact your health care provider.

SSRIs may be associated with an increased risk of bleeding and this may be worsened if sertraline is taken with other drugs that also have this effect, such as warfarin, aspirin, Plavix, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or other anticoagulants.

There are many other drug interactions with the SSRI class of drugs and it is important that patients inform their health care providers of all drugs they take, including prescription, over-the-counter, herbal or dietary supplements so that a comprehensive drug interaction check can be completed.

Thank you for joining us at for a brief review of sertraline. Please refer to our patient and professional information, drug interaction checker, and additional tools on

Patients with a concern about the use of sertraline should consult with their health care provider.

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