Drug and Alcohol

Is Sertraline a Controlled Substance? We Answer This Question and More

Is Sertraline a Controlled Substance?

Is sertraline a controlled substance? Learn this and more about Zoloft, including what you shouldn't take it with, in our blog.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

May 22, 2024

You might be wondering, "Is Sertraline a controlled substance?" It's a valid concern, especially if you're navigating the complex world of addiction. Your well-being matters, and seeking answers shows strength.

Sertraline, commonly prescribed for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, isn't classified as a controlled substance. It's meant to support you on your journey toward better mental health. Remember, reaching out for help is a courageous step, and you're not alone in this, so let's dive in and explore your question.

What Is Sertraline?

Sertraline is a medication commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. It works by balancing certain chemicals in your brain to improve your mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. You might know it by its brand name, Zoloft.

Is Sertraline a controlled substance? Nope, it's regulated but not controlled, making it easily accessible for those who need it to manage their mental health effectively.

Is Sertraline a Controlled Substance?

Sertraline, commonly known as Zoloft, is not classified as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

This means you don't need a special prescription or authorization to obtain it.

Because it's not a controlled substance, you can typically get a prescription from your doctor and have it filled at your local pharmacy without much hassle. Unlike controlled substances such as opioids or stimulants, sertraline doesn't have the same potential for abuse or addiction.

This distinction is crucial for those who rely on sertraline to manage their mental health because it ensures easier access to this medication. It's primarily used to treat mood disorders.

So, to answer the question, is sertraline a controlled substance? No, it's not, which makes it more accessible for individuals who need it for their mental health treatment.

Your well-being matters. If you have any more questions on Sertraline use or other concerns about mental health in general, don't hesitate to contact The Edge Treatment Center. We're here to support you every step of the way.

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Prescription and Administration of Sertraline

When it comes to the prescription and administration of sertraline, it's crucial to consult your healthcare provider. They'll assess if it's right for you based on your medical history and current condition.

Sertraline isn't a controlled substance, but it should be taken exactly as prescribed to maximize its effectiveness and minimize potential side effects. Remember, your doctor is there to guide you through the process and ensure you get the most out of your treatment. So, don't hesitate to ask questions and share any concerns you have.

Uses of Sertraline: What Is Zoloft Used For?

Sertraline is a medication primarily used to treat mental conditions like depression, here's other ways in which it can help you:

Depression Relief

Sertraline helps balance the chemicals in your brain, lifting your mood and reducing feelings of sadness or hopelessness.

Anxiety Management

Whether it's generalized anxiety disorder or specific phobias, sertraline can ease your worries and calm your mind.

Panic Attack Control

If you experience sudden, intense periods of fear or discomfort, sertraline can reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks.

OCD Symptoms Reduction

Sertraline can lessen the intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors associated with OCD, giving you greater control over your actions and thoughts.

PTSD Treatment

If you're haunted by past traumatic events, sertraline can alleviate your PTSD symptoms, such as flashbacks and nightmares.

Social Anxiety Support

Sertraline can help you feel more at ease in social situations, reducing anxiety and fear of judgment.

Always use sertraline as prescribed by your healthcare provider and consult them if you have any concerns or questions.

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Side Effects of Sertraline

Using Sertraline has its own fair share of side effects.

Common Side Effects

  • Nausea: Feeling queasy or having the urge to vomit is a common side effect when starting Sertraline. Taking it with food can sometimes help alleviate this.

  • Diarrhea: Some individuals may experience loose stools or increased bowel movements. Staying hydrated and consuming a balanced diet might ease this symptom.

  • Dizziness: Feeling lightheaded or unsteady upon standing or sudden movements can occur. Taking precautions such as rising slowly from sitting or lying down positions can help.

  • Trouble Sleeping: Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, can occur. Establishing a bedtime routine and practicing relaxation techniques may promote better sleep quality.

Sexual Side Effects

  • Decreased Libido: A reduction in sexual desire or interest may occur, impacting intimacy and relationships. Open communication with your partner and exploring alternative forms of intimacy can help maintain a healthy relationship.

  • Difficulty Reaching Orgasm: Some individuals may experience delays or inability to achieve orgasm. Discussing concerns with a healthcare provider can lead to adjustments in medication or exploring other treatment options.

Weight Changes

  • Possible Weight Gain or Loss: Sertraline can affect appetite and metabolism, leading to changes in body weight. Monitoring dietary habits and engaging in regular physical activity can help manage weight fluctuations.

Serious Side Effects

  • Allergic Reactions: In rare cases, individuals may experience allergic reactions such as rash, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial if any of these symptoms occur.

  • Serotonin Syndrome: Although uncommon, excessive serotonin levels in the body can lead to serotonin syndrome, characterized by symptoms such as confusion, rapid heart rate, fever, and seizures. Prompt medical intervention is necessary if these symptoms arise.

While side effects from sertraline can occur, it's crucial to note that their severity and occurrence vary among individuals. It's essential to maintain transparent and continuous communication with your healthcare provider to effectively manage any potential issues.

Sertraline is not classified as a controlled substance; it is a prescribed medication widely used for treating depression and anxiety.

Sertraline Interactions

Understanding sertraline interactions sheds light on potential effects and precautions for users. Some of the interactions are:


Consuming alcohol while taking sertraline can increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. It's generally advisable to limit alcohol intake.

Other Medications

Sertraline may interact with other drugs, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), blood thinners, and certain antibiotics. Always inform your doctor about any medications you're taking to avoid potential adverse reactions.

Herbal Supplements

Certain herbal supplements like St. John's wort can interact with sertraline, reducing its effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects. Consult with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements.


While there are no specific food interactions known with sertraline, taking it with food can help reduce stomach upset.


Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with sertraline, potentially leading to increased levels of the medication in your bloodstream. It's best to avoid grapefruit products while on sertraline.

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Sertraline Withdrawal Symptoms

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking sertraline is quite common. Here's what you might encounter:

Physical Symptoms

You might feel dizzy, nauseous, or experience headaches. Some people even report "brain zaps," which are brief sensations that feel like an electric shock in your head.

Emotional Rollercoaster

Get ready for mood swings! You could feel anxious, irritable, or even have mood swings. It's like your emotions are on a wild ride.

Sleep Struggles

Say hello to sleep disturbances. You might have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. It's like your body's internal clock is out of whack.

Flu-Like Feelings

Feeling like you've got the flu? That's another common symptom. You might experience muscle aches, sweating, and fatigue.

Duration Varies

How long these symptoms last can vary from person to person. For some lucky folks, they might only last a week or two. For others, it could drag on for longer.

When getting to know about Sertraline’s withdrawal symptoms the question, “Is sertraline a controlled substance?” is necessary in knowing how to approach the issue. It's also essential to follow your doctor's guidance when starting or stopping any medication. Withdrawal symptoms can be tough, but they're temporary, and you'll get through it!

Understanding Sertraline: Your Path to Wellness

Sertraline is not classified as a controlled substance but is an FDA-approved medication widely used to treat various mental health conditions. If you are considering sertraline as part of your treatment plan, it's important to discuss this with your healthcare provider to understand how it fits into your overall health strategy.

For additional support and professional guidance on using sertraline safely and understanding the risks involved, please feel free to contact The Edge Treatment Center. Embarking on your journey to improved mental health begins with informed decisions and the right support system.

Our dedicated mental health program uses proven, effective treatment modalities to address mood disorders, anxiety, personality disorders, and more. With mental health housing options available, The Edge Treatment Center is the ideal place to treat your mental disorders safely and effectively. We are here to help you every step of the way.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.


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