|US brand name: Zoloft|
|Generic name: sertraline|
Zoloft’s Potential Side Effects
Potential Side Effects All Crazy Meds Have
No matter which neurological and/or psychiatric drug you take, you’ll probably get one or more of these side effects. These will usually be gone, or at least will diminish to the point where you barely notice it most of the time, within a week or two.
- Drowsiness / fatigue - even when taking stimulants in some circumstances.
- Insomnia, instead of or alternating with the drowsiness.
- Assorted other minor GI complaints (constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
- Generally feeling spacey / out of it
- Which can all add up to the ever-helpful “flu-like symptoms” listed as an adverse event on the PI sheet of practically every medication on the planet used to treat almost any condition humans and other animals could have.1
- All crazy meds can, and probably will affect your dreams as well. There is no way of telling if that will be good or bad, let alone if this side effect is permanent or temporary.
- Any of the above side effects you see listed again below means they’re even more likely to happen and/or stick around longer and/or are worse than most other meds.
Typical Potential Side Effects
- dry mouth
- more so than any other SSRI
- assorted sex problems
- Typical, because it is an SSRI, but less likely and less bad than all the others.
- The various gastro-intestinal problems are often worse than with other SSRIs.
- You’re also way more likely to have diarrhea than constipation, so Zoloft and IBS aren’t a good match.
- Zoloft is the SSRI least likely to cause weight gain.
Most everything usually goes away within a couple of weeks.
I originally wrote that you were less likely to have GI problems with Zoloft than with other SSRIs. That’s what I get for getting too much evidence from the bipolar with our paradoxical reactions. Sorry.
Uncommon Potential Side Effects
- Sweatiness, like really sweaty all the time.
- Although getting a little sweaty isn’t all that odd for an SSRI, Zoloft is a very “nervous” drug, much more so than the others in this class. Zoloft (sertraline) is almost Wellbutrin-like in how it can sometimes make you sweaty, shaky and generally uncomfortable in your own skin.
- Which I find hilariously ironic, as Zoloft is approved and fairly effective for panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, and used off-label for generalized anxiety disorder.
- Making the symptoms worse
- While making symptoms worse is a potential side effect of all drugs, from non-prescription meds you get at a grocery store to the most expensive chemotherapy on the planet, Zoloft (sertraline) has a fairly high rate (i.e. around 1–2%) of screwing you over with this one2. If any medication makes your symptoms worse, call your doctor immediately.
Freaky Rare Side Effects
Hmmm, I wonder if Michael Jackson used to take Zoloft…