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What is the Recommended Zoloft® Dose?

Patients taking Zoloft usually start out by taking the lowest possible dose.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2014
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Zoloft® is an antidepressant that has also been shown useful in treating conditions like generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, depression, premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD), and post traumatic stress syndrome. The generic name for this medication is setraline, and it is widely available and usually cheaper when purchased in generic form. Setraline is a member of the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs may help make more serotonin available to the body and stabilize mood.

It’s impossible to state correct Zoloft® dose for any individual because it can be highly variable. Recommendations from the drug’s manufacturer suggest that anywhere from a 25mg to a 200mg dose may be appropriate. A Zoloft® dose higher than 200 mg may not be safe.

The reason why a Zoloft® dose can vary is because each person may respond to the drug differently. Usually when people start taking the medication they start at a low Zoloft® dose, about 25-50mg. Depending upon how much this dosage allays symptoms, a person might remain at the starting dose or increase it. There are also recommendations on how and when to take Zoloft® depending upon the condition for which it is used.

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For children treated with setraline, the dose is usually 25 mgs or slightly higher, but may not increase significantly. The medication may be taken once in the morning or once at night. If people find that setraline makes them sleepy, it may be better to take the drug in the evening before bedtime.

For adults with ongoing conditions like depression, anxiety or PTSD, the Zoloft® dose will also be taken once a day. Preference as to taking it at night or in the morning is usually up to the individual. Occasionally, a psychiatrist or other doctor may suggest a specific reason for taking the med at a specific time of day.

When setraline is used to treat premenstrual dysmorphic disorder, dosing may be very different. Women may only take the medication the week or two leading up to their menstrual periods. Recent research has found that it isn’t always necessary for women with PMDD to take an antidepressant for the entire month. Instead they may be benefit from shorter usage of such a drug, around the time when PMDD symptoms develop.

It is very important when people are taking Zoloft® or other SSRIs to watch for the emergence of suicidal symptoms or behavior. Especially in children and teens, SSRIs may increase suicidality. This makes using medications like setraline only safe when they are used under the guidance of a knowledgeable physician. People are also advised not to increase or decrease their Zoloft® dose unless advised to do so by a physician, and to exactly follow dosing recommendations at all times.

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