How Long Does Zoloft Stay In Your System?

If you are reading this article, we are sure you would want to know the right answer to the question – how long does Zoloft stay in your system. After a deep research, here are few important things you need to know as a consumer. Read on.

Before we tell you how long Zoloft stays in your system, let us start with a quick introduction (for people who don’t know what it is).

How Long Does Zoloft Stay In Your System

What Is Zoloft?

Zoloft (otherwise known as sertraline) is a widely used antidepressant today. It falls under the drug category called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). Sertraline is reported to affect the chemicals of your brain and used for treating anxiety, obsessive-compulsiveness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), panic attacks or depression.

We will discuss in depth about Zoloft in this article but before that, we will give you the answer you are searching for.

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So, How Long Does Zoloft Stay In Your System?

Usually people, who are new to taking sertraline, often have this one common question running in their minds, which is — how long does Zoloft stay in your system. According to experts and what we have researched, Zoloft (or sertraline) usually remains in your system for 125 hours (about 5 to 6 days). Nevertheless, a metabolite is involved, which stays in the body for a maximum of 520 hours (about 21 to 22 days) until it is completely removed. You can diffuse the dosage or expedite the elimination process by inducing vomit. However, this is not proven very helpful. There are no particular antidotes. Moreover, it includes side effects like headache, dizziness, tremors, somnolence, insomnia etc… Hence, it is highly advised not to use this medication unless your doctor prescribes it.

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How Long Does Zoloft Stay In Your System After You Stop Taking It?
Zoloft takes about 7 to 10 days to completely get out of your system and takes 6 weeks for the body to get used to not having the drug. Meaning, it takes six weeks for the brain to become normal. In short, it is a horrible drug.

 

Call your physician if you experience the below:
  • Behavioral or mood changes
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Hyperactive (physically or mentally)
  • Impulsive
  • Agitated
  • Irritable
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Aggressive
  • Hostile
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depressed

 

Please Make A Note
Never give Zoloft to kids or individuals younger than 18 years without your doctor’s advice. FDA approves Zoloft only for kids with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). It isn’t approved to treat depression in kids.

 

Other Important Things Related To Zoloft

When You Should Not Use Zoloft?

You shouldn’t be using Zoloft if you are taking pimozide or being treated with “Methylene Blue Injection” Also, avoid Zoloft if you have taken MAO inhibitor in the last 14 days because a hazardous drug interaction can occur. Generally, MAO inhibitors include linezolid, selegiline, phenelzine, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine and rasagiline.

What You Shouldn’t Miss Telling Your Doctor?

To ensure Zoloft is 100% safe for you, it is important to tell the health expert if you have:

  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • Blood clotting disorder or bleeding problems
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Manic depression (or bipolar disorder)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • History of drug abuse

How Long Should You Wait Before Taking An MAOI?

Once you stop Zoloft, you need to wait at least for 14-15 days before taking a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI).

Can You Take An SSRI Antidepressant If You Are Pregnant?

No. Taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy causes serious complications and lung problems to the baby. If you get pregnant while taking Zoloft, make sure to tell it to your doctor at once.

How Should You Take Zoloft?

  • You need to take Zoloft exactly the way your doctor prescribes it.
  • Zoloft can be consumed with / without food.
  • Occasionally, your physician may change the dose to get best results.
  • Don’t take this drug in smaller or larger amounts or longer than suggested.
  • Always, use a medicine dropper for exact dose.
  • Dilute the Zoloft (liquid form) before taking it. You can mix the prescribed Zoloft dose with 1 ½ cup (4 ounces) of ginger ale, lemon soda, orange juice, water or lemonade. Never use liquids other than what we have mentioned here. Stir the solution and drink right away.

What Happens If You Miss A Dose?

Well, you have to take the missed Zoloft dose once you remember it. However, skip it if it is time for the next dose. Don’t take extra pills just to make up the missed one. This is one of the biggest mistakes people do.

What Happens If You Overdose?

In this case, you need to contact your doctor immediately or call the emergency Poison Helpline 1-800-222-1222 (if it worsens).

What Should You Avoid While Taking Zoloft?

  • Never have alcohol when taking Zoloft because it can increase the risk of side effects
  • Don’t take Zoloft (liquid form) if you are taking Antabuse (disulfiram) especially because liquid Zoloft might contain alcohol, which in turn can give a dangerous reaction.
  • Be very careful while driving or any activity that needs alertness because Zoloft might impair your reactions or thinking.
  • Using any NSAID along with Zoloft might cause bleeding or bruising easily. Therefore, it is very important to talk to your doctor before taking a NSAID for swelling, fever, pain or arthritis. This usually includes ibuprofen, aspirin (Motrin, Advil), celecoxib (Celebrex), naproxen (Aleve), meloxicam, indomethacin, diclofenac etc…

Common Side Effects Of Zoloft Include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Insomnia (or sleep issues)
  • Impotence
  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Difficulty having orgasm
  • Change in appetite
  • Mild nausea

How Should You Store Zoloft?

You must store Zoloft at room temperature. Keep away from heat and moisture.

When Is The Best Time To Take Zoloft?

There is no exact answer to this question. However, according to our research, doctors usually prescribe Zoloft in the morning (usually between 6:00 and 8:00 am). This is because it may cause vivid dreams and insomnia if you take at night. Hence, taking Zoloft in the morning helps in curbing those symptoms.

Information On Zoloft Dosage

Here are few other crucial points to make a note of:

1. Usual Adult Zoloft Dosage For Depression

The initial dosage should be taken 50 mg (once in a day) orally. Then you can increase the dosage by 50 mg per week up to 200 mg.

2. Usual Adult Zoloft Dosage For OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

The initial dosage should be taken 50 mg (once in a day) orally. Then you can increase the dosage by 50 mg per week up to 200 mg.

3. Usual Adult Zoloft Dosage For Panic Disorder

The initial dosage should be taken 50 mg (once in a day) orally. Then you can increase the dosage by 50 mg per week up to 200 mg.

4. Usual Adult Zoloft Dosage For PTSD

The initial dosage should be taken 25 mg (once in a day) orally. Then you can increase the dosage by 50 mg per week up to 200 mg.

5. Usual Adult Zoloft Dosage For Anxiety Disorder

The initial dosage should be taken 25 mg (once in a day) orally. Then you can increase the dosage by 50 mg after a week up to 200 mg.

6. Usual Adult Zoloft Dosage For Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

The initial dosage should be taken 50 mg (once in a day) orally. Then you can increase the dosage by 50 mg after a week up to 150 mg.

Note:
Zoloft causes false +ve drug screening test. Hence, if you give your urine sample while screening, make sure to tell the lab personnel that you are using Zoloft. Don’t stop taking Zoloft all of a sudden. Always ask your physician how to stop this medication safely.

Side Effects Of Sertaline

Get medical help if you notice any of the below listed signs after taking Zoloft:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen face, throat, lips or tongue
  • Rashes on skin or hives
  • Behavioral changes
  • Mood changes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling impulsive
  • Hostile
  • Agitated
  • Restlessness
  • Very depressed
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hyperactive (physically or mentally)
  • Aggressive

Call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • High fever
  • Increased thirst
  • Nosebleeds
  • Uneven or fast heartbeats
  • Confusion
  • Sweating
  • Rigid or stiff muscles
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of proper coordination
  • Fainting
  • Shallow breathing
  • Seizures
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling unsteady
  • Tremors
  • Excited feeling
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Lack of energy
  • Itching
  • Increased body movements
  • Shivering
  • Purple or red spots on skin
  • Chest pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Agitation

What Other Medications Affect Zoloft?

When you take Zoloft with other medications, (especially the ones that slow down your breathing or make you sleep) it increases the risk of side effects. Hence, it is vital to ask your physician before using Zoloft with

  • A narcotic pain pill
  • A muscle relaxer
  • A sleeping drug
  • A seizure or anxiety drug

Also, tell your physician about the medications you use.

Hope, you have got the answer to the question — How Long Does Zoloft Stay In Your Body? If you have any queries or doubts regarding this medication, feel free to put them in the comments box.

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