In the case of sertraline, uses of the medication include the treatment of depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Other uses of sertraline involve the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder. Examples of "off-label" sertraline uses include the treatment of dementia, alcoholism, and obesity.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
Using Sertraline for Depression
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Common symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
- Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
- Physical pain
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Suicidal thoughts.
Sertraline has been proven in large clinical trials to help adults with depression. However, many antidepressants (including sertraline) take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your depression symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. It usually takes at least four to six weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give sertraline a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).