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How Long Can You Stay On Sertraline (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Four to Five Months

Sertraline is a commonly used antidepressant of the SSRI class, where SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. This drug is primarily used in the treatment of depression but also finds great use in panic attacks, PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, and OSD or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The drug is instrumental in fighting depression and its side effects are much milder and less than as compared to the other antidepressants available. The side effects experienced after sertraline consumption are feeling sick, having trouble sleeping, and having headaches. These effects are not very intense and are visible in only the first few weeks of sertraline intake.

How Long Can You Stay On Sertraline?

Dosage GroupDose Course
Children between 6 to 12 years of age
A. Initial dose routine25 mg a day
B. Increased dose routine50 mg a day
Children between 12 to 18 years of age
A. Initial dose routine50 mg a day
B. Increased dose routine200 mg a day
Adults above 18 years of age
A. Initial dose routine25 mg a day
B. Usual dose routine50 mg a day
C. Maximum dose routine200 mg a day

The dose course of sertraline varies with the change in age group. Children are usually given fewer and lighter doses while adults have strong and powerful dose courses to follow. Children up to the age of six are not given this drug as it is not deemed fit for them.

Children who are between the age group of 6 and 12 years have lighter doses of the drug. Usually, they are initially suggested by the doctors a dose of 25 mg tablets a day but after a week or two doctors may upgrade it to 50 mg a day.

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Children who are in the age group of 12 to 18 years are recommended an initial dose of 50 g tablets a day. However, if the doctors find it less useful, they might increase it to 200 mg a day.

Doctors suggest adults an initial dose of 25 mg a day and then increase it to 50 mg a day if they feel it necessary. In any case, they do not suggest a dose routine higher than 200 mg a day.

The dose courses are supposed to continue till the symptoms of depression persist. The medication can also be discontinued in consultation with healthcare workers.

Why Can You Stay On Sertraline For So Long?

There are a number of factors that impact the dose routine for Sertraline. A few prominent ones that influence this are family history regarding medical illness, other mental health problems, and the current side effects of drug intake experienced by the person. These factors jointly help the medical professionals decide the course of dosage of the drug.

If the patient has a long family medical history regarding mental illness, it implies that the issue is genetic. Such a health issue would need a strong medication. However, a person without much family background of mental illness may need smaller doses of sertraline for a smaller period.

If the patient also suffers from any other mental illness problems, that may need doctoral attention. The cure provided by sertraline might also be covered by the medications of that other mental illness. The doctors might be in need of the medical history of a person so as to provide the best advice.

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The current symptoms being experienced by the person also play a part in deciding the course of the drug. Almost everyone experiences minor side effects upon the intake of sertraline, but if they are more pronounced, it may need the attention of the physician. The physician may further tailor the drug routine of the patient.

Conclusion

Sertraline is an effective medicinal drug used in the cure and treatment of depression and related ailments. There are comparatively fewer side effects of this drug as compared to others doing the same work. The course of the drug differs from the person but has to be continued till the symptoms of depression are treated.

Once the symptoms of depression or the ailment being treated disappear, the drug has to be gradually stopped. If the drug is stopped all at once, there may be side effects.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0006322395001788
  2. http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00003088-200241150-00002
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