Taking Zoloft – How Do I Switch Zoloft (Sertraline) From Night to Morning?

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Taking Zoloft any time of the day has the same effect. Sertraline is mainly prescribed for treating disorders like Major Depressive Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD), Post-Traumatic Disorders (PTSD), Social Anxiety Disorders, and Panic Disorder Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

If you wish to switch taking your regular dose from night to morning, it’s essential to talk to your doctor first. The other way to change the timing is to skip the next dose and take it in the morning, meaning if you usually take your dose at 10 pm, then skip the dose for that day and take it in the morning and continue from there.

Switching to taking your dose of Zoloft from night to morning or vice versa depends on factors like the probable side effects of the medication, dosage of the drug, and how it influences the quality of life.

Many people take Zoloft depending on how it personally affects them; for some, one of the side effects of this medication can be drowsiness, so taking it at night is better for them.

While, for some people, Zoloft can cause insomnia, taking it in the morning is best for them. But the most important thing to remember is to consult your doctor or prescriber before switching the timings of taking your regular dose.

What is Zoloft (Sertraline)?

Sertraline is a prescription antidepressant sold under the brand name Zoloft. Sertraline belongs to a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).

How does Zoloft (Sertraline) work?

A woman is holding a Zoloft pill that she's about to take for her depression

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or you can say it’s a chemical messenger in the brain involved in regulating a person’s daily life. Research has suggested that depression occurs when there’s a low level of serotonin in the brain.

SSRI increases the activity level of serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain. SSRI is mainly prescribed to help with depression, improve a person’s quality of life, and regulate better sleep, mood, learning, and memory.

Other SSRIs include:

  • Fluoxetine (Sarafem, Prozac, Symbyax)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Vilazodone (Viibryd)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Paroxetine (Pexeva, Paxil)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)

Why is Zoloft (sertraline) used?

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) suggests that sertraline improves mood and treats depression and anxiety.

Sertraline also helps treat other conditions like:

The recommended dosage of Sertraline

The dosage of Zoloft differs from patient to patient.

The amount of drug you take, the number of doses to take each day, the time allowed between each dose, and the length of time for which you take the recommended dose depends on various reasons like the strength of the medicine, or the medical problem, its severity, and why you’re taking the medications.

The following dosage recommendations are the average doses of this medicine. Always follow your doctor’s order or the instructions on the label. If your doctor has prescribed a different dosage, don’t change your dosage unless your doctor advises.

For depression: (solution or tablets)

Adults: Initially, the dosage might be 50mg once a day, taken either in the morning or night, after which your doctor may change the dosage if needed. But, make sure not to take the dosage more than recommended. The daily dosage shouldn’t exceed 200mg a day.

Children: The dosage, number of times to take, and the length of time for the medication to be taken will be prescribed only by the doctor.

For OCD

Adults and teenagers: Initially, the dosage might be 50 mg once a day, taken either in the morning or night, after which your doctor may change the dosage if needed. The daily dosage shouldn’t exceed 200mg a day.

Children 6-12 years: Initially, the dosage might be 25 mg once a day. The daily dosage shouldn’t exceed 200mg a day.

Children younger than 6 years: The dosage, number of times to take, and the length of time for the medication to be taken will be prescribed only by the doctor.

For panic disorder, PTSD, or social anxiety disorder

Adults: Initially, the dosage might be 50 mg once a day, taken either in the morning or night, after which your doctor may change the dosage if needed. The daily dosage shouldn’t exceed 200mg a day.

Children: The dosage, number of times to take, and the length of time for the medication to be taken will be prescribed only by the doctor.

For PMDD

Adults: Initially, the dosage might be 50 mg once a day, taken either in the morning or night, after which your doctor may change the dosage if needed. The dosage shouldn’t increase to 150 mg per day throughout your menstrual cycle or 100 mg if you’re taking it during premenstrual.

Children: The dosage, number of times to take, and the length of time for the medication to be taken will be prescribed only by the doctor.

Side effects of sertraline

Side effects can vary from person to person. The common side effects of sertraline include:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea

You may or may not experience some of these side effects. They usually go away after the first week or two if you do.

Some of the severe side effects include- suicidal thoughts or actions in people aged 24 years or younger. Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience sudden changes in behavior, feelings, thoughts, or moods.

Other severe side effects include:

  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Certain eye problems
  • Low sodium levels
  • Loss of weight and appetite, especially in children taking sertraline.

Tips for taking Zoloft (Sertraline)

  • Avoid taking sertraline with grapefruit. Grapefruit is claimed to increase the levels of sertraline in your blood which can lead to unwanted side effects.
  • You can take it with or without food.
  • Try not to miss a dose. If you miss a dose, try taking it as soon as possible. But if you’re closer to the next dosage time, skip the current one and the next dose at the regular time. Avoid double dosing.
  • Talk to your doctor before stopping the medication. Trying to prevent the use of the drug abruptly may result in withdrawal effects.
  • It takes 4-6 weeks to experience Zoloft’s full effects. So, don’t expect any immediate results.
  • Be mentally ready for side effects. You may experience some of the side effects listed above.
  • Make sure that your doctor knows about any pre-existing conditions. Your doctor will not prescribe Zoloft if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive. They may also consider the dosage or prescribe the medication if you have epilepsy, diabetes, heart condition, or glaucoma.
  • Avoid any drug interactions. Don’t mix any medications with alcohol. Also, tell your doctor if you’re already on other antidepressants or any other medicines.

Can I switch Zoloft from night to morning?

Switching the timing of your regular dosage should always be done after consulting your healthcare provider. The change may depend on your potential side effects and your quality of life.

If you wish to switch taking Zoloft from night to morning, skip the upcoming dosage of the night and instead take it the following morning.

For example, if you regularly take Zoloft at 9 pm in the night and wish to take it only in the morning, then take your medication today at 9 pm (Monday), skip the next dosage (Tuesday) taken in the night, and instead take it the following morning (Wednesday).

Timing suggestion based on your side effect

  Side effects  When to take Zoloft
DrowsinessBedtime
InsomniaMorning
Loss of libidoMorning
Urinary problemsMorning
NauseaBedtime

FAQs

Does taking Zoloft in the morning make you tired?

Taking Zoloft may cause tiredness and drowsiness for some people. Talk to your doctor if the side effect worsens.

Does Zoloft cause weight gain?

Experts suggest that for up to 25% of people, most antidepressants can cause a weight gain of 10 pounds or more.

How can I tell if Zoloft is working for me?

When your sleep, mood, or appetite shows improvement, you start feeling and sleeping better; it’s an early signal indicating that the medication is working for you.

Takeaway

If you’ve been prescribed Zoloft for any reason by your healthcare provider, then take it responsibly.

You can take it either in the morning or evening, but if you’re switching the timing from the regular dosage timing, talk to your doctor first before taking any steps to avoid skipping too many doses or double dosing.

Take care of your health, rest well, do what your heart desires and live a happy, healthy life.

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