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HomeMental HealthIs Zoloft (Sertraline) Addictive? — Talkspace

Is Zoloft (Sertraline) Addictive? — Talkspace

Printed on: 03 Apr 2023

Is Zoloft Addictive

Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant remedy within the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of medicine. It’s used to deal with despair, anxiousness problems, and different psychological well being circumstances. Zoloft will increase serotonin ranges within the mind to enhance temper and regulate feelings. 

A typical query earlier than beginning this — or any — antidepressant is commonly: is Zoloft addictive? When taken as prescribed, Zoloft is not thought-about addictive. In truth, analysis reveals it’s tolerated properly by most individuals who take it. It doesn’t produce a euphoric excessive or trigger cravings, like substances abused for leisure functions do. That stated, Zoloft habit can nonetheless be a priority for many individuals, because it is doable to grow to be bodily dependent on this remedy over time. 

What’s the distinction between being addicted and being depending on a prescription drug? Hold studying to study extra — we’ll clarify why sertraline is just not addictive and discover every little thing it is advisable to learn about this SSRI.  

Zoloft Dependency vs Dependancy

Being dependent, versus Zoloft habit, means you’ve developed a tolerance for a substance. This implies you would possibly want extra frequent doses or greater dosages than initially prescribed to attain the identical impact. It doesn’t essentially point out drug habit has occurred, although. 

Dependency may be managed via cautious monitoring by a health care provider. In contrast, drug habit entails compulsive use regardless of adverse penalties, together with psychological misery and impaired functioning socially and/or occupationally. 

“Zoloft dependence is usually hooked up to extra of a psychological dependence reasonably than an addictive scope, which ends up in damaging repercussions from compulsive overuse.”

Talkspace therapist Elizabeth Keohan, LCSW-C, LICSW, LCSW


Psychiatric remedy from a licensed prescriber

Study extra

How Lengthy Ought to I Keep on Zoloft?

First, you have to know how lengthy it takes for Zoloft to work. The size of time anybody ought to keep on Zoloft relies on particular person wants and circumstances and your physician’s advice. It’s vital to first give it time to see if it improves your despair signs or anxiousness signs. By no means discontinue utilizing Zoloft or any SSRI abruptly, as there’s a excessive potential for withdrawal signs.

What Occurs if You Cease Taking Zoloft?

Should you cease taking Zoloft, you possibly can expertise withdrawal signs beginning inside 24 hours after stopping remedy and lasting as much as 2 – 4 weeks, relying upon elements like length and dosage earlier than cessation. Truly fizzling out of an SSRI steadily and underneath medical supervision is at all times really useful.  

Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome

Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, also called antidepressant withdrawal, is a set of bodily and psychological signs that may happen when somebody stops taking an antidepressant remedy. It generally happens in individuals who’ve taken antidepressants for not less than 4 weeks or longer. Signs embrace: 

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Complications
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Flu-like aches & pains
  • Vivid goals 

Tips on how to keep away from Zoloft withdrawal signs

A part of answering the query is Zoloft addictive means understanding the dangers related to stopping this remedy abruptly or too shortly. The next might help you keep away from Zoloft withdrawal signs:

  • Taper off slowly: It’s vital to not make sudden modifications in dosage as this might trigger severe Zoloft unwanted side effects. Your physician will cut back your dose steadily over time. The method may take a number of weeks or months, relying on how lengthy you took Zoloft and what dose you have been on.
  • Take with meals: Taking the remedy with meals helps your physique take up the energetic substances correctly. This might help cut back any potential unwanted side effects or withdrawal signs in the event you cease taking it in a while down the road.
  • Monitor signs intently: Monitor any modifications in temper or conduct whereas taking Zoloft and after discontinuing use. This manner, you possibly can catch withdrawal indicators earlier than they grow to be extreme. Some frequent signs embrace insomnia/hassle sleeping, irritability, complications, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, problem concentrating, and elevated anxiousness/panic assaults. If signs seem, contact your physician instantly.

“As with all drugs, compliance and sustaining common remedy consultations are the perfect methods to keep away from adverse unwanted side effects even whereas titrating down. Proceed a wholesome self-care routine, together with vitamin and sleep, to extra clearly discover modifications or adverse withdrawal signs.”

Talkspace therapist Elizabeth Keohan, LCSW-C, LICSW, LCSW

Decide If Zoloft Is Proper for You with Talkspace Psychiatry

Understanding the potential dangers related to taking this or any psychiatrist-prescribed remedy is vital. Is Zoloft addictive? Although true habit isn’t a priority, in the event you’re taking Zoloft as a part of your remedy packages, dependency is one thing to contemplate. On-line psychiatry with Talkspace might help you identify if Zoloft is the best prescription drug for you and your situation.

Should you or a cherished one is questioning if sertraline is addictive, you don’t have to fret alone with out solutions. Talkspace gives personalised care to assist your journey and provide the instruments obligatory to guide a more healthy, extra fulfilling life. Don’t wait any longer – take management of your future at the moment.


  1. Lydiard RB, Perera P, Batzar E, Clary CM. From the bench to the Trench. The Main Care Companion to The Journal of Medical Psychiatry. 1999;01(05):154-162. doi:10.4088/pcc.v01n0504. Accessed December 17, 2022.
  2. Gabriel M, Sharma V. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. Canadian Medical Affiliation Journal. 2017;189(21). doi:10.1503/cmaj.160991. Accessed December 18, 2022.

Talkspace articles are written by skilled psychological health-wellness contributors; they’re grounded in scientific analysis and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our staff of medical consultants (therapists and psychiatrists of assorted specialties) to make sure content material is correct and on par with present business requirements.

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