Sertraline is licensed to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and other conditions. As a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, the medication works by affecting certain chemicals within the brain. It is sold under the brand name Zoloft and is also available in generic form. Common side effects of sertraline include insomnia, nausea, and diarrhea.
What Is Sertraline?
Sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft®) is a prescription medication used to treat a number of conditions within the brain.
Who Makes It?
Zoloft is manufactured by Pfizer. Several companies manufacture generic sertraline.
What Is Sertraline Used For?
This medication is licensed to treat a number of conditions, including:
- Depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia).
How Does Sertraline Work?
Sertraline is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs act on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. Serotonin is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. But when the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression and panic disorder. Sertraline helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that more remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.