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10 min read

Zoloft For Anxiety

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: May 16, 2023

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

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If you are suffering from panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder, you may benefit from an SSRI like Zoloft. Zoloft, when taken properly, can help you find relief from anxiety symptoms and take back control of your life.

If you are in need of a licensed healthcare provider who can prescribe medications like Zoloft, Klarity can help. We connect patients across the country with providers who can diagnose and treat mental health conditions online. After evaluating your symptoms, they can determine if Zoloft or other SSRI medications are right for you.

Get started with Klarity today for simple, fast, and affordable online anxiety treatment. Within 48 hours, you could receive a personalized treatment plan for your anxiety, including a prescription for Zoloft, if necessary.

This article discusses suicide and suicidal ideation. If you are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988. 

Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.

Can Zoloft Treat Anxiety?

Zoloft is the brand name for Sertraline, a type of antidepressant medication. Zoloft is commonly prescribed in adults to treat symptoms of major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and certain types of anxiety.

While Zoloft is only FDA-approved to treat panic disorder and social anxiety disorder, it is often prescribed off-label to treat other anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Off-label does not mean that it is unsafe, but rather that the FDA has simply not gone through the extensive process of approving Zoloft for GAD.

How Long Does It Take For Zoloft To Reduce Anxiety Symptoms?

Zoloft is a type of prescription medication known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. With these kinds of medications, it takes time before they start increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. You should expect to take Zoloft for anywhere from two to six weeks before you notice a change in your anxiety symptoms.

Zoloft Dosages For Treatment of Anxiety

Zoloft comes in three forms: oral tablets, oral capsules, and oral liquid. There are different dosage levels for each delivery method.

  • Oral tablets: 25mg, 50mg, 100mg
  • Oral capsules: 150mg, 200mg
  • Oral liquid: 20mg/ml (60 ml per bottle)

The oral liquid is typically reserved for pediatrics with OCD.

Side Effects of Zoloft

Like all prescription medication, there are certain side effects when taking Zoloft that you should keep in mind before starting. Some side effects are mild, while others can be severe and an indication that you may need to switch to another SSRI medication.

Common Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased sweating
  • Feelings of nervousness or restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Sexual dysfunction

Severe Side Effects

If you are experiencing severe side effects or new or worsening symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider right away. Some of the more rare but serious side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Low sodium blood levels
    • Characterized by headaches, weakness, or difficulty concentrating or remembering)
  • Angle closure glaucoma
    • Characterized by eye pain, swelling or redness around the eye, changes in vision
  • Serotonin syndrome, in which serotonin levels in the body are too high
    • Characterized by shivering, confusion, severe muscle tightness, fever
  • Seizures
  • Increased risk of bleeding

Antidepressants such as Zoloft also come with a black box label warning, as they may increase symptoms of depression, including suicidal thoughts or ideation. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988.


If you suddenly stop taking Zoloft, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These include:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Mood changes
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Tremors
  • Brain zaps (sensory disturbances characterized by feeling of electrical shock in brain)
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy

If you abruptly stop Zoloft, you could experience withdrawal symptoms for 1-2 weeks, depending on how long you were taking it. Talk to your healthcare provider about slowly tapering off of Zoloft rather than stopping cold turkey.

Zoloft Drug Interactions

There are certain medications that may interact negatively with Zoloft. Speak to your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking for any physical or other mental health conditions before starting Zoloft.

Medications that you should not take with Zoloft include:

  • NSAIDs such as ibuprofen
  • Blood thinners or heart medications
  • Migraine medications known as triptans
  • Other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or antidepressants
  • St. John’s Wort

Warnings of Zoloft Use For Anxiety

Certain individuals should not be prescribed Zoloft for anxiety. You should inform your healthcare provider if you:

  • Have ever had allergic reactions to sertraline or other medications
  • Are currently taking medications that may interact with Zoloft
  • Have heart problems, as Zoloft can increase heart rate and lead to arrhythmia
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant
  • Have epilepsy, as Zoloft can increase the risk of seizures
  • Have glaucoma, as Zoloft can increase pressure behind the eyes
  • Are a diabetic

How Much Does Zoloft Cost?

The cost of Zoloft will vary based on whether you have insurance and whether you choose the name brand or generic version. Name brand Zoloft without insurance can cost up to $500 for a 30-day supply, but generic sertraline can cost as little as $10 with coupons.

If you have insurance, the cost of name brand Zoloft will be significantly less, but will vary depending on your insurance provider. Contact your insurance company to find out more.

How to Store Zoloft

When you receive your prescription for Zoloft, keep the bottle in a dry place away from heat and direct light. Zoloft should be kept closed and at room temperature to provide patients with the most effective results. Keep in a high place out of the reach of children.

Do You Need a Prescription To Take Zoloft?

Yes, you do need a prescription for Zoloft. You can only receive Zoloft from a licensed healthcare provider, such as a psychiatrist, doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. Your provider will likely evaluate you for anxiety and ask you about your symptoms before prescribing Zoloft.

If you don’t have a regular healthcare provider, online anxiety treatment through platforms like Klarity make it easy for you to receive a diagnosis and medication to treat your symptoms, if applicable.

Book An Appointment With a Licensed Provider For Anxiety Treatment Today

Klarity makes it easy for patients to receive reliable anxiety treatment right from their homes. With Klarity, you never have to worry about waitlists, transportation, or even health insurance coverage. Instead, we’ve made it simple to connect with a mental health professional who can expertly diagnose and treat anxiety disorders.

Find a provider online today through Klarity and join thousands of patients who have experienced relief from their anxiety with the help of a licensed mental health professional.

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