ATC Code N06AB06
Formula C17H17Cl2N
Molar Mass (g·mol−1) 306,23
Physical State solid
Density (g·cm−3) 1,353
Melting Point (°C) 290–291
Boiling Point (°C) 416,3
PKS Value 9.48
CAS Number 79617-96-2
PUB Number 5203
Drugbank ID DB01104
Solubility moderate in water / poor in ethanol


Sertraline is an antidepressant in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It is used to treat depressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Sertraline is usually administered orally and is only available by prescription.



Sertraline acts as a potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). By inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, sertraline increases extracellular serotonin levels, thereby increasing serotonergic neurotransmission in the brain. This mechanism is responsible for the antidepressant effect.


Sertraline is slowly absorbed when taken orally and reaches its maximum concentration in plasma 4 to 6 hours after administration. In blood, it is 98.5% bound to plasma proteins and has a half-life of 25 to 26 hours. Sertraline is inactivated in the liver by demethylation. Sertraline is metabolized by several cytochrome 450 isoforms: CYP2D6, CYP2C9, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4.


Side effects

Compared to other SSRIs, sertraline tends to be associated with higher rates of psychiatric side effects and diarrhea.

Common and very common side effects:

  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Ejaculation disorders
  • nervousness
  • Sweating
  • tremor
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting
  • dyspepsia
  • sexual dysfunction
  • hot flushes
  • micturition disorders
  • palpitations
  • chest pain

Toxicological data

LD50 (rat,oral): 840 mg-kg-1


  • Drugbank
  • PubChem
  • Aktories, Förstermann, Hofmann, Starke: Allgemeine und spezielle Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Elsvier, 2017
Markus Falkenstätter

Markus Falkenstätter

Markus Falkenstätter ist Autor zu pharmazeutischen Themen in der Medizin-Redaktion von Medikamio. Er befindet sich im letzten Semester seines Pharmaziestudiums an der Universität Wien und liebt das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten im Bereich der Naturwissenschaften.

Mag. pharm Stefanie Lehenauer

Mag. pharm Stefanie Lehenauer

Stefanie Lehenauer ist seit 2020 freie Autorin bei Medikamio und studierte Pharmazie an der Universität Wien. Sie arbeitet als Apothekerin in Wien und ihre Leidenschaft sind pflanzliche Arzneimittel und deren Wirkung.

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