Major depressive episodes

Active Ingredient: Sertraline

Indication for Sertraline

Population group: only adults (18 years old or older)
Therapeutic intent: Preventive action

Prevention of recurrence of major depressive episodes.

For this indication, competent medicine agencies globally authorize below treatments:

50 mg once daily for a week and thereafter 50-200 mg once daily


Dosage regimens

Oral, 50 milligrams sertraline, once daily, over the duration of 1 week. Afterwards, oral, between 50 milligrams sertraline and 200 milligrams sertraline, once daily. The maximum allowed total dose is 200 milligrams sertraline daily.

Detailed description

Initial treatment

Sertraline treatment should be started at a dose of 50 mg/day.


Patients not responding to a 50 mg dose may benefit from dose increases. Dose changes should be made in steps of 50 mg at intervals of at least one week, up to a maximum of 200 mg/day. Changes in dose should not be made more frequently than once per week given the 24-hour elimination half life of sertraline.

The onset of therapeutic effect may be seen within 7 days. However, longer periods are usually necessary to demonstrate therapeutic response, especially in OCD.


Dosage during long-term therapy should be kept at the lowest effective level, with subsequent adjustment depending on therapeutic response.


Longer-term treatment may also be appropriate for prevention of recurrence of major depressive episodes (MDE). In most of the cases, the recommended dose in prevention of recurrence of MDE is the same as the one used during current episode. Patients with depression should be treated for a sufficient period of time of at least 6 months to ensure they are free from symptoms.

Dosage considerations

Sertraline should be administered once daily, either in the morning or evening.

Sertraline can be administered with or without food.

Active ingredient


Sertraline is a potent and specific inhibitor of neuronal serotonin (5-HT) uptake in vitro, which results in the potentiation of the effects of 5-HT in animals. It has only very weak effects on norepinephrine and dopamine neuronal reuptake.

Read more about Sertraline

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