This Is How Long It Takes For Zoloft To Start Working

Zoloft, also known as sertraline, is a type of antidepressant used to treat depression, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (via NHS). The American Chemical Society notes that the drug was invented in the early 1970s and has evolved a great deal over the years. It belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain (via Medical News Today)

The importance of serotonin to humans can't be overemphasized. Cleveland Clinic notes that it plays a key role in mood, sleep, wound healing, and even sexual desire. WebMD further reiterates the strong relationship between an imbalance in serotonin levels and depression. According to the source, low serotonin levels affect mood in a way that triggers depression. This is when antidepressants like Zoloft come in. According to Mayo Clinic, Zoloft is available only via a doctor's prescription and comes in various dosages.

How long does Zoloft take to work?

As an antidepressant, Zoloft can take up to 6 weeks to reach a full therapeutic effect for depression, according to However, even though the initial effect may kick in for some patients within the first 2 weeks, some may require a longer time.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, some people might experience improvements in their sleep, energy or appetite levels after 1 or 2 weeks of taking Zoloft. Still, it'll take a longer time (around 6 to 8 weeks) for heavy depression symptoms to wear off. Mayo Clinic advises taking this medicine for several months before you begin to feel better. However, the effectiveness of Zoloft might depend on how strictly you adhere to your doctor's prescription.

The FDA notes that taking medicine as prescribed is crucial for controlling chronic conditions and overall long-term health and well-being. WebMD also lists various best practices for administering Zoloft. You can take your medication once daily, morning or evening, by mouth as directed by your doctor. The source adds that swallowing the capsules whole is better than crushing or chewing the capsules. As for the liquid formula, Medical News Today advises mixing 4 ounces of the medication with either water, lemon soda, orange juice, or ginger ale before drinking immediately.

Side effects and warnings

According to, you should avoid Zoloft should if you're allergic to sertraline or if you're currently taking pimozide. The source adds that taking Zoloft 14 days before or after taking any of those medicines might cause a dangerous reaction. Common side effects associated with Zoloft use include a decreased interest in sexual intercourse, inability to have or keep an erection, sexual performance weakness, and a failure to discharge semen (via Mayo Clinic).

Zoloft also blocks the action of nitric oxide, undercutting the flow of enough blood to your sexual organs, per Healthline. The severity of these Zoloft-sponsored sexual side effects varies from person to person, and some men become free of these problems when their bodies adjust to the medication, per Healthline. Other mild symptoms you can experience include nausea, diarrhea, headache, dry mouth, sweating, or fatigue. Still, they disappear within a week or two into Zoloft therapy, per Medical News Today.