How Long Does Sertraline Take To Work (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4 – 6 Weeks

Nowadays due to the busy life of people and constant hustle in one’s day-to-day life, conditions like panic and anxiety attacks, post-traumatic stress disorders, social phobia, etc are on the rise. To deal with such disorders and attacks, one can make use of sertraline which is a medication that helps one calm the body down, bring it to homeostasis and reduce the body’s panic levels.

Sertraline is known to ameliorate one’s mood, sleep, and also contribute in bring up the energy level of the body that might have gone up due to incessant worry and stress. This medication can be consumed by mouth, once a day or as directed by one’s physician. It is sold under the popular brand name Zoloft among other brands. It is an antidepressant and can aid one to overcome depression if one is suffering from it.

The human’s mood is stabilized by a hormone named serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for happiness in one’s life. It affects all parts of the body and hence enables the cells in the brain to communicate better with each other. Apart from regulating one’s mood, serotonin also assists in other vital activities like digestion, sleeping, eating, etc. Thus, sertraline, being an SSRI i.e selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, leads to increased levels of serotonin which makes people feel good.

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How Long Does Sertraline Take To Work?

It takes approximately four to six entire weeks to experience the comprehensive benefits of the sertraline medication. However, this duration of starting to show effects in one’s body is a subjective concept and can differ from person to person. Some people have even noticed the effects of sertraline within about 2 -3 weeks after consuming the medication while for others it could take as long as a few years.

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Sertraline can help overcome one’s mood and overall well-being. It is mainly used for the treatment of disorders like MDD (major depressive disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress), OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), etc. Sertraline also helps in dealing with such conditions and keeps panic and anxiety attacks under control.

4 – 6 weeks is the average time taken by sertraline to reach a steady and stable level inside the body. It is an extremely safe medication that has been proven by numerous clinical tests and trials. However, just like all other medications, sertraline too has certain side effects. The most significant side effect of sertraline is diarrhea.

To show improvement in sleep, energy, appetite1 – 2 weeks
To show improvements in mood, interest in day-to-day activities4 – 6 weeks

Why Does Sertraline Take So Long To Work?

Sertraline is an antidepressant that works to improve one’s overall attitude toward life. It can help improve one’s daily sleeping habits, mood, boost energy levels, etc. Thus, it is of utmost importance that when one has started taking sertraline for one’s benefit, not stop the dosage abruptly, even when one starts to feel better.

Antidepressants take time to show their effects and thus, sertraline takes about 4 to 6 weeks to work. During the first 2 -3 weeks, there is an initial improvement. This amelioration in one lifestyle and habits in the first few weeks denote that the medication is working for the person and will potentially help the person to become a better version of himself if the medication is taken religiously.

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After the initial stage, one should not stop taking their medicines but should continue it till the very end of the term the doctor has prescribed to yield favorable results. Thus, it could about 4 to 6 weeks and sometimes, even more, to entirely evince the improvement. However, if the condition is gravely serious or a person has experienced multiple depressive episodes, then antidepressants can be prescribed for such a person for a term as long as a few years.


Sertraline is considered to be a safe and effective medication take causes no harm to one is taken as prescribed by one’s doctor. Generally, it takes on average 4 to 6 weeks for sertraline to show its effects. However, in rare circumstances, one can even experience certain side effects of sertraline that subside within one week of taking sertraline. The side effects can include mild headache, diarrhea, excessive sleepiness, etc.

Skipping the medicine before completing the entire prescription term can make one relapse again in one’s old unhealthy symptoms. Thus, even if one notices improvement and starts feeling better than before, the entire term of medication should be continued to the very end, without stopping midway, to reap the benefits of the medication in the long run.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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