Zoloft, the brand name for the drug sertraline, is a prescription medication used to treat depression. It has a low potential for abuse and is non-addictive.
Taking extremely high doses of Zoloft can be fatal, although this is very rare. Overdosing on Zoloft may be a sign of a drug problem or an underlying mental health condition that hasn’t been diagnosed.
Factors That Affect A Lethal Dose Of Zoloft
The lethal dose of Zoloft can vary based on a range of factors. The lowest fatal dose of Zoloft reported involved the ingestion of 750 milligrams (mg).
Additional research, however, has documented patients recovering from Zoloft overdose after taking as much as 4,000 mg.
For comparison, the starting dose of Zoloft for major depression is 50 mg. Taking higher doses than prescribed, or mixing Zoloft with other drugs recreationally, is not recommended.
Is Zoloft Overdose Common?
Overdosing on Zoloft, much less dying from a Zoloft overdose, is very uncommon.
According to Pfizer, the drug company that manufactures Zoloft, only about 10 percent of total reported Zoloft overdoses proved fatal. There are certain factors that can increase this risk.
Risk factors for serious Zoloft overdose include:
- taking excessive Zoloft doses
- drinking alcohol with high doses
- taking high doses with other depressants
- thoughts of suicide
- history of suicide attempts
- history of substance abuse
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Understanding The Signs Of Zoloft Overdose
Zoloft overdose symptoms are typically mild and are unlikely to cause lasting or serious harm.
If someone is experiencing serious symptoms after taking a very high dose of Zoloft, or mixing it with other depressants, seek medical attention.
Signs and symptoms of Zoloft overdose might include:
- very slow or fast heart rate
- dilated pupils
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- Pfizer—ZOLOFT (sertraline) Overdosage
- U.S. National Library of Medicine—Sertraline overdose
- U.S. National Library of Medicine—Suicidality and Suicide Attempt in a Young Female on Long-Term Sertraline Treatment
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus—Sertraline