Sertaline is a psychiatric medication that is prescribed for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized or social anxiety disorders. This medication changes the amount of a brain chemical called serotonin in order to correct imbalances and relieve patients of mental distress.
This medication can cause people to become suicidal. Some patients become extremely depressed while on the medication and may have thoughts of suicide or actively act to harm themselves. This side effect is more common at the beginning of a course of medication but can occur at any time. Patients on this medication should have regular doctors’ appointments and should be monitored carefully for signals that they intend to harm themselves.
Patients should remain on the medication even after they start to feel better in order to prevent symptoms from reappearing. If a patient wants to stop taking this medication, he or she should gradually withdraw from it under the supervision of a doctor.