Sertraline (brand name Zoloft) is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Sertraline is one of many antidepressants in the SSNRI class (serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) and can cause sleep abnormalities by altering brain chemistry.
Common side effects
According to DIOne, a medication management system used by hospitals, nausea is by far the most common side effects associated with sertraline. Others include dry mouth, dyspepsia, diarrhea, constipation, and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Weight loss is another commonly reported side effect.
Other possible side effects
Sertaline is thought to act as a stimulant to the brain, however there have been reports of drowsiness in some patients. Insomnia, drowsiness, tremor, dizziness, headache, fatigue, decreased libido and sexual dysfunction have also been reported.
Dose dependant side effects
Increased drowsiness seems to occur at higher doses, whereas increased cognition has been reported at the lower doses.
The FDA has issued drug alerts for all SSRI and SSNRIs regarding the potential for suicidal thinking among patients 18 to 24.
This drug also puts patients at risk for developing Serotonin Syndrome when the medication is stopped abruptly. Patients can experience exaggerated symptoms including dizziness, increase depression, and nausea.