Sertraline is a type of drug used to treat mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety. It is the generic version of Lustral, which is made by Pfizer.

Our video consultation service enables you to speak to a clinician online. Our doctors can offer advice on mental health problems, refer you to a specialist or issue a prescription for treatment where appropriate.

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Contains 50mg Sertraline.

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Sertraline is a type of drug used to treat mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety. It is the generic version of Lustral, which is made by Pfizer.

Our video consultation service enables you to speak to a clinician online. Our doctors can offer advice on mental health problems, refer you to a specialist or issue a prescription for treatment where appropriate.

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Product information

Sertraline is a drug used to treat certain types of mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is an SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It works by altering the way the brain processes a chemical called serotonin. These drugs are more commonly referred to as antidepressants. The branded version of Sertraline made by Pfizer is called Lustral.

About one in four adults in the UK is thought to be affected by a mental health problem. There are several different types of mental health disorder, and these can cause a variety of different symptoms. 

What conditions does Sertraline treat?

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) for example, is an anxiety disorder which is characterised by having regular, unwanted or unpleasant thoughts (obsessions) or urges to perform certain actions (compulsions). It’s a condition many might not feel comfortable seeking help for, so it’s fairly common for OCD to go undiagnosed for some time; it might only be when these obsessions or compulsions begin to interfere with normal daily life that someone seeks help. 

Depression is a condition where someone feels down or fed up on a regular or continual basis for a prolonged period. Bouts of depression may go on for several weeks or months. In some cases it may be triggered by a specific event, such as losing a loved one or losing a job. But it can run in families too, and occur for no reason in particular. 

Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, comes about as a result of experiencing a particularly stressful or frightening situation (such as violence or a serious life-threatening illness). It’s thought to affect about a third of people who go through a traumatic event, and can cause flashbacks and bad dreams (in which someone relives the experience).

Each mental health condition is different, and as such, there are various therapies and techniques available to help people overcome them and keep them under control. For example, cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a method used to help treat several types of anxiety disorder, including OCD and PTSD. Counselling is another talking therapy route, and a doctor may recommend attending self-help groups in certain cases.

Antidepressant medication is a further form of treatment for mental health disorders such as OCD, PTSD and depression. When it is prescribed in addition to a talking therapy, this is referred to as combination treatment. 

Can Sertraline treat premature ejaculation?

If you’re looking for sertraline for premature ejaculation, please speak to one of our clinicians via our online video consultation service on Treated Live, or order the licensed product Priligy

How does Sertraline work?

Sertraline and other SSRIs work by altering the way the brain processes a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in the transmission of signals in the brain. It’s released and reabsorbed by nerve cells, and when serotonin levels are lower than usual, this causes problems with transmitting signals between nerve cells and is thought to contribute towards depression. SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, work by preventing this chemical from being reabsorbed by nerve cells, so there’s more available to transmit signals as needed. This eases symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Can I speak to a doctor online about Sertraline?

If you’re experiencing anxiety or persistently feel low and want to talk to a clinician, our video consultation service enables you to do so. We work with GMC-registered doctors and GPhC-registered pharmacy prescribers, who are available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Our clinical staff can provide medical advice, prescriptions for medication and fit notes where appropriate.

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Page last reviewed:  02/06/2020

Always follow the instructions given by your prescriber when using this treatment, and make sure you read the patient information leaflet beforehand.

  • The typical dose usually recommended is 50mg a day.
  • In some cases, this may be increased up to a maximum dose of 200mg per day.
  • Do not adjust your dose unless you are specifically told to by your prescriber.
  • Swallow tablets whole with water. Do not break or chew them.
  • It is recommended to take your tablet at the same time each day.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you take too many tablets.
  • If you miss a tablet, skip that dose and take your next tablet at the normal time.
  • It can take two to four weeks of using the drug to show improvement.
  • Carry on taking your medicine even if you start to feel better.
  • If after several weeks of taking this medicine, you don’t feel better, speak to your prescriber.

If you have any questions regarding this treatment, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

Page last reviewed:  02/06/2020
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Sertraline 50mg

Side effects

Side effects

If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, or any other side effects that become serious, seek medical advice right away. This includes suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self harm, convulsions, jaundice or liver failure, fever, rigidity, vision problems, feeling unwell, tiredness, pain in the joints or muscles, high temperature, feeling agitated or confused, seizures, increased heartbeat, sweating more than usual, diarrhoea, restlessness or tiredness.

Very common (1 in 10 people or more):

Sleeping problems, feeling dizzy, sleepiness, headache, diarrhoea, nausea, dry mouth, problems ejaculating, fatigue.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):

Sore throat, increase in appetite, anorexia, depression, strange feeling, having nightmares, feeling anxious or agitated, nervousness, loss of libido, grinding teeth, numbness or tingling, shaking, tense muscles, abnormal taste, loss of attention, sight problems, vomiting, constipation, stomach upset, gas, rash, increased sweating, muscular pain, sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, pain in the chest.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Runny nose, chest infection, having hallucinations, mood swings, having abnormal thoughts, convulsions, muscular contractions, loss of coordination, loss of memory, not being able to feel sensations, speech problems, postural hypotension, migraine, pain in the ears, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, flushing, breathing problems, wheezing, shortness of breath, bleeding from the nose, inflamed oesophagus, problems swallowing, piles, increased saliva, tongue disorder, flatulence, 

swollen eyes, purple spots on the skin, hair loss, cold sweat, dry skin, hives, osteoarthritis, muscular weakness or twitching, pain in the back, getting up to go to the toilet in the night, increase in urinary frequency, urinary problems, vaginal bleeding, malaise, chills, fever, weakness, thirst, weight fluctuations.

Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):

Problems with the gut, ear infection, cancer, swollen glands, high cholesterol, low blood sugar, coma, physical manifestation of stress or emotional problems, glaucoma, drug dependence, psychotic disorder, aggression, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, sleep walking, premature ejaculation, abnormal movements, difficulty moving, increased sensation, sensory disturbance, tear problem, spots in front of eyes, double vision, sensitivity to light, bloodshot eyes, enlarged pupils, heart attack, slow heartbeat, heart problem, poor circulation in the arms and legs, throat closing up, breathing fast, breathing slow, difficulty talking, hiccups, blood in the stool, sore mouth, ulcers on the tongue and in the mouth, tooth disorder, liver function problems, blisters, rash in the hair, unusual skin odour, bone disorder, not being able to urinate, urinary incontinence, urinary hesitation, excessive vaginal bleeding, dry vagina, balanitis, genital discharge, priapism, breast discharge, hernia, decrease in drug tolerance, problems walking, abnormal laboratory tests, abnormal semen, suicidal ideas and behaviours shortly after treatment discontinuation.

Not known:

Low white blood cells count, drop in clotting cells, low thyroid hormone levels, endocrine problem, low blood salt, diabetes, increase in blood sugar levels, terrifying abnormal dreams, suicidal behaviour, problems with muscle movement, feinting, pancreatitis, serious liver function problems, jaundice, water retention, skin reaction to sun, itching, joint pain, muscle cramps, swollen breasts, menstrual problems, swelling in the legs, blood clotting issues, bedwetting and severe allergic reaction.


Conditions to look out for

Tell your prescriber about any medical conditions you have or have had in the past.

Do not use Sertraline if: you are allergic to anything in it; you have a liver problem; you are taking a type of medicine called an MAOI or have in the past two weeks; are taking pimozide.

Your prescriber needs to know if you: are pregnant or breastfeeding; have had bipolar disorder or schizophrenia; have had suicidal thoughts or thoughts relating to self-harm before; have serotonin syndrome; have low blood sodium levels; have kidney or liver problems; are diabetic; have ever had a fit; are having electroconvulsive therapy; intend to consume alcohol when taking this treatment; or have had a bleeding disorder before.

Taking it with other medications

It is important to tell your prescriber about any other medicines you are using.

Do not use Sertraline if you are also taking: MAOIs such as moclobemide or selegiline; or linezolid.

The following medicines may interact with Sertraline, so you should tell your doctor if you are taking them: St John’s Wort; medicine for chronic pain or amnesia, such as fentanyl; sedatives like diazepam; water tablets; phenytoin or other anti epilepsy medicines; diabetes medicines such as tolbutamide; treatments for stomach acid and ulcers such as cimetidine; medications for mental health conditions such as lithium,  amitriptyline, nortriptyline, perphenazine, levomepromazine and olanzapine; drugs to help with an irregular heartbeat, such as flecainide or propafenone; tryptophan or sumatriptan; fenfluramine; warfarin; aspirin; painkillers known as NSAIDs; or tramadol.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are trying to conceive, are pregnant or become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, do not take Sertraline tablets and speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Driving and using machines

Sertraline can cause side effects like drowsiness which can affect your ability to drive. If you experience any side effects like this, do not drive or use any heavy machines and let your doctor know. You could change the time of day that you take it if you experience tiredness; some people prefer to take it at night for this reason.

Food, drink and alcohol 

You should not drink alcohol or grapefruit juice when using Sertraline. Alcohol can lessen the feelings of sadness or anxiety for an hour or two but in the long term it makes these feelings much worse, so it’s much better to avoid it altogether whilst you’re taking Sertraline.


Medicines similar to Sertraline have been observed to reduce sperm count in animals in clinical studies. The effect on human fertility is not known.

Page last reviewed:  02/06/2020
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Sertraline 50mg


Can I still drink alcohol?

No. You must not drink alcohol when using this medicine.

Will I still be able to drive?

If you experience any side effects such as dizziness that could affect your judgment or coordination, do not drive and see a doctor.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

No. It should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

How should I store it?

In a safe place out of the reach of children, below 30°C.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

This drug contains: sertraline, calcium hydrogen phosphate anhydrous (E341), microcrystalline cellulose (E460), hydroxypropylcellulose (E463), sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, opadry blue, hydroxy Propyl methyl cellulose (E464), titanium dioxide (E171), macragol, polysorbate 80 (E433), indigo carmine aluminium lake (E132), opadry yellow, iron oxide (E172), polysorbate 80 (E433).

Do not take Sertraline if you are allergic to any of the above.

Is it available over-the-counter?

No. Sertraline is prescription only. 

Is it possible to buy Sertraline online?

Sertraline needs to be issued on the advice of a doctor or pharmacy prescriber. If you haven’t taken it before, or are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, OCD or PTSD but are not currently taking treatment, you should consult with a qualified healthcare professional so that they can discuss your symptoms with you and decide on the best course of therapy.

Our online video consultation service is available from 6am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday. If you’re unable to get an appointment with a doctor in person or are between GP surgeries, our doctors and pharmacy prescribers may be able to help you get the treatment or advice you need. Make an appointment using the module above to get started.

Page last reviewed:  02/06/2020
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