Lustral is a medicine that contains the active ingredient Sertraline. It is used as a treatment for depression, anxiety and several other mental health problems.
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Lustral contains Sertraline, which is the active ingredient. Sertraline is used to treat a number of mental health conditions and is a drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Serotonin is the hormone largely thought to be responsible for happiness, and Sertraline helps to boost serotonin levels in those with certain mental health conditions.
Lustral can be used to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and panic disorder. It can also be used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in both children and adults.
Depression is defined as the persistent feeling of unhappiness or low mood that interferes with everyday life to a significant extent. The cause of depression may vary from person to person, but is commonly attributed to life-changing events like losing a job, bereavement or eviction. It is also thought to be linked with a family history of mental disorder or a past traumatic experience. The symptoms of depression are characterised as frequent low mood, loss of libido, feeling as if you’re in a ‘downward spiral’ and feeling hopeless or helpless, or any other related negative mood. Treatment for depression may include changes to an individual’s lifestyle, attending therapy or a course of antidepressants; or a combination of all three.
Anxiety disorder is characterised as feeling anxious and uneasy. The symptoms of this can range from mild to severe. The full reason as to why anxiety occurs is not fully understood, but it could be caused by overactivity in the emotional areas of the brain, an imbalance of mood-regulating hormones, past experiences, inherited genes, a history of trauma, a physical problem or a history of drug or alcohol misuse. Symptoms may include restlessness, a recurring feeling of dread, feeling ‘on edge’ a lot, irritability and trouble concentrating. You can read more about the symptoms of anxiety here. Treatment for anxiety is similar to that of depression.
Post-traumatic stress disorder has been linked with anxiety and depression. It is defined as reliving stressful or traumatic events, sometimes through nightmares and flashbacks. It can occur after incidents such as a road accident, experiencing abuse or assault, having a very serious illness, or going through an otherwise upsetting or painful experience.
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a common mental health problem that causes people who have it to think in an obsessive way, or have compulsive behaviours. In can affect people of any age, but is said to be prevalent amongst young people - particularly those experiencing puberty. It is also linked strongly with anxiety. Symptoms include unpleasant, recurring thoughts surrounding a particular area. Treatment is similar to other mental health conditions, and may involve a therapy known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which helps people confront their problems and think about them differently.
If you think you may be suffering with one or several of these mental health conditions, we recommend making an appointment with your doctor or a mental health specialist, who will be able to offer advice and guidance. You can also make use of our online video consultation service, which gives you access to our GMC-registered doctors, who can offer advice or refer you to specialists.
It is very important that you always follow the guidance and instructions provided by the prescribing clinician, and read the patient information leaflet provided.
- The starting dose for this treatment is normally 50mg.
- In cases where symptoms do not improve, the dose may be increased to 100mg.
- Never exceed your dose unless specifically told otherwise by your prescriber.
- The tablets are to be taken whole with water, and should not be chewed.
- We recommend that tablets are taken routinely, at the same time every day.
- If you overdose, seek immediate medical attention.
- In instances where you forget to take this medication, skip the dose you have forgotten to take and take the next dose at the same time the following day.
- It can take several weeks before any change takes place as a result of this treatment.
- Do not stop taking the medication if you begin to feel better.
- Talk to your prescriber again if, after a long period of time, no significant change has taken place.
Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to offer further advice if you are still unsure.
People who take Lustral won’t always get side effects, but it’s important to be aware of what potential side effects may look like. If you notice any severe side effects such as an allergic reaction or suicidal thoughts, seek medical attention immediately.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Feeling drowsy, tired or dizzy, an inability to sleep or problems relating to sleep, nausea, diarrhoea, headaches, erectile problems, fatigue or dry mouth.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Sore throat, runny nose, reduced appetite, increased appetite, symptoms of anxiety, depression, agitation, loss in libido, feeling nervous, feeling strange, nightmares, teeth grinding, shaking, problems with the muscles including jerking or convulsions, sensations of numbness and/or tingling, tense or tight muscles, short attention span, changed taste, visual disturbance, audible ringing, palpitations, hot flushes, yawning, upset stomach, constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting, gas, increased sweating, rash, back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, menstrual irregularities, erectile dysfunction, malaise, chest pain, weakness, fever, weight increased or injury.
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):
Vomiting, diarrhoea, ear infection, tumours, hypersensitivity, seasonal allergies, low thyroid hormones, suicidal thoughts, suicidal behaviour, psychotic disorder, thinking abnormally, lack of caring, hallucinations, feeling aggressive, euphoric mood, paranoia, amnesia, decreased feeling, involuntary muscle contractions, passing out, moving a lot, migraines, convulsions, dizziness while standing up, abnormal coordination, speech disorder, enlarged pupils, ear pain, fast heartbeat, heart problems, bleeding problems, internal bleeding, high blood pressure, hot flushes, blood in urine, shortness of breath, nose bleeds, respiratory problems, wheezing, red or blackened stool, tooth decay or tooth disease, gum problems, swollen wind-pipe, inflamed tongue, haemorrhoids, increased saliva, difficulty swallowing, burping, eye swelling, hives, hair loss, itching, spots or blemishes on the skin, blisters, dry skin, face oedema, cold sweat, osteoarthritis, muscle twitching, muscle cramps, muscular weakness, increase in frequency of urination, problem urinating unable to urinate, urinary incontinence, increase in urination, nighttime urination, sexual dysfunction, excessive vaginal bleeding, vaginal haemorrhage, female sexual dysfunction, swelling in the legs, chills, difficulty walking, thirst, increase in liver enzyme levels, weight loss.
Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
Diverticulitis, swollen lymph glands, decrease in clotting cells, decrease in white blood cells, severe allergic reaction, endocrine problems, high cholesterol, diabetic problems, low blood sugar, increase in blood sugar levels, low blood salt, physical symptoms due to stress or emotions, terrifying abnormal dreams, drug dependence, sleep walking, premature ejaculation, coma, abnormal movements, difficulty moving, increased sensation, sudden severe headache, sensory disturbance, spots in front of eyes, glaucoma, double vision, light hurts eye, blood in the eye, unequal sized pupils, vision abnormal, tear problem, heart attack, light-headedness, fainting, or chest discomfort or heart irregularities, slow heartbeat, poor circulation of arms and legs, breathing fast, scarring of lung tissue, closing up of the throat, difficulty talking, breathing slow, hiccups, mouth ulceration, pancreatitis, blood in stool, tongue ulceration, sore mouth, problems with liver function, serious liver function problems, jaundice, skin reaction to sun, skin oedema, hair texture abnormal, skin odour abnormal, hair rash, breakdown of muscle tissue, bone disorder, urinary hesitation, decreased urination, breast discharge, dry vaginal area, genital discharge, red painful penis and foreskin, breast enlargement, prolonged erection, hernia, drug tolerance decreased, increase in blood cholesterol levels, abnormal laboratory tests, semen abnormality, problems with clotting, relaxation of blood vessels.
Wetting the bed, lockjaw.
Conditions to look out for
Certain medications are not suitable for everyone. It is vital you make your prescriber aware of any past or current medical conditions you have.
It is especially important that you tell your prescriber if you suffer from, or have ever suffered with, a history of fits or epilepsy, bipolar disorder, manic depressive disorder, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts, depression, serotonin syndrome, lower sodium levels in the blood, liver disease, diabetes, bleeding disorders or blood thinning medication, eye problems or any form of heart disease.
This treatment may not be suitable for certain elderly people. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, this must also be brought to the attention of your prescriber.
Taking it with other medications
It's important that you tell your prescriber about any other medications you may be taking. Do not take Lustral if you are allergic to its active ingredient, sertraline, if you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as selegiline or moclobemide, or if you are taking medication for psychosis such as pimozide or any other medication for any other mental disorder.
Driving and operating machinery
Because Lustral can cause tiredness, drowsiness or similar side effects, some people opt to take their medication during the evening at a time they know they will not have to drive or operate machinery.
If these side effects are present in the morning, and you still feel tired, dizzy or drowsy, driving or operating any machinery is not advisable.
Food, drink and alcohol
There are no specific foods or drinks that cannot be consumed in conjunction with this treatment. The only drinks you should not consume with this medication are alcohol and grapefruit juice. Alcohol can boost your mood in the short-term, but in the long-term will serve to lower mood and can exacerbate side effects associated with this treatment.
The effect on sperm count and fertility is unknown in humans.
For further advice, consult with the patient information leaflet found in each package.
Can I still drink alcohol?
No. You should not drink alcohol while taking Lustral.
Will I still be able to drive?
If you experience side effects that relate to tiredness or dizziness, this could have an impact on your ability to drive. To avoid this, some people opt to take their medication at night, at a time they know they will not need to drive again until the following day.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
No. Under no circumstances should this medication be used when pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I store it?
Below 30°C, in a safe environment away from children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
This medicine contains sertraline, calcium hydrogen phosphate dihydrate (E341), microcrystalline cellulose (E460), hydroxypropyl cellulose (E463), sodium starch glycolate (Type A), magnesium stearate (E572), hypromellose 2910/3cP (E464), hypromellose 2910/5cP (E464), titanium dioxide (E171), macrogol 400 (E1521), macrogol 6000 (E1521) and polysorbate 80 (E433).
Is it available over the counter?
No. This is a prescription only medicine.
Can I buy Lustral online?
Yes, provided one of our clinicians deems a prescription for the treatment appropriate having had your consultation with them. However, if you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety or any others listed in the full description and you haven’t yet been prescribed treatment, then we advise you make an appointment with your doctor in-person in the first instance.
Our online video consultation facility provides you with access to a GMC-registered doctor. Our doctors are available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. If you’re struggling to make an in-person appointment with your doctor, or you’re between surgeries, our consultation service may be of use to you. Book an appointment using the module above.
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