What Factors Affect Sertraline Dosage?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2019
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The prescribed sertraline dosage is largely dependent on the condition being treated with it, and the dosage can be increased if the drug isn’t having a significant effect. For conditions such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a 50 milligram (mg) dosage is recommended, and it should be increased in 50 mg increments if necessary. If patients take sertaline for panic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, the suggested starting dosage is 25 mg per day. Generally, no more than 200 mg should be taken per day.

Sertraline is usually prescribed for depression and is classed as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressant. These drugs work to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter chemical that is responsible for carrying signals between nerves in the brain. Low levels of serotonin in the brain are thought to be linked to conditions such as depression, OCD, post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. SSRIs can therefore be used to treat these conditions.


The recommended sertraline dosage is determined by the patient’s condition and his responsiveness to the treatment. For patients with depression, a 50 mg initial dose is advised. This is the most common use of sertraline, as around one in 10 people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. The sertraline dosage for OCD is also 50 mg. OCD is a condition that is characterized by compulsions that the patient feels like he has to follow, even though they may be illogical or unnecessary in nature. For both of these conditions, if the 50 mg sertraline dosage per day doesn’t help the condition, it can be increased by 50 mg each week, up to a maximum of 200 mg per day.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a more severe version of premenstrual syndrome, with patients feeling depressed, irritable and tense before they menstruate. Women suffering from this condition are advised to take 50 mg per day, or only during the luteal phase of menstruation. If the medicine is being taken throughout the menstrual cycle, it can only be prescribed in doses of up to 150 mg per day. If it is only being taken through the luteal phase, a maximum sertraline dosage of 100 mg is suggested.

Social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder both have a suggested initial sertraline dosage of 25 mg per day. If the treatment isn’t effective after one week, it can be increased to 50 mg. After that, the dosage can increase in the same way as with other conditions, at increments of 50 mg once a week, up to a maximum of 200 mg per day.


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