Apr 27, 2023




Zoloft Alternatives: What Other Options Are Available?

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Zoloft is a common prescription medication that is FDA-approved for treating depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults. It's also approved as a treatment for children with OCD. 

While Zoloft is an effective medication for many people, it may not work for everyone. Whether you're experiencing significant adverse side effects from it or it's not working for your symptoms, other options exist that may work better for your needs.

We put together this guide to provide an overview of these alternative treatments so that you, with the help of your doctor, can decide which treatment plan is best for you. 

Discover the best prices for Zoloft and access free instant savings coupons for your local pharmacy using our exclusive prescriptions discount card. No insurance or sign up is necessary. Always seek advice from your healthcare provider before commencing any new medication regimen.

What is Zoloft?

Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that restores the balance of serotonin in the brain. It can help improve mood, sleep, energy level, and appetite, as well as control panic attacks, anxiety, fear, and the urge to repeat tasks, like obsessive counting, that interfere with daily living. 

Side effects of Zoloft

Like most SSRIs, Zoloft does have side effects. Many are temporary and will decrease or disappear after your body adjusts to the medication. 

The most common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Headache

  • Nausea/upset stomach

  • Diaherra

  • Vomiting

  • Dizziness

  • Dry mouth

  • Increase in sweating

  • Loss of appetite

  • Trouble sleeping 

Although rare, more severe reactions may occur. You should seek medical attention right away if you experience:

  • An allergic reaction (Trouble breathing, rash, itching, swelling)

  • Fast/irregular heartbeat

  • Hallucinations

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Agitation/restlessness

  • Black stools

  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds

  • Tremors (shaking)

  • Easy bleeding or bruising 

What to consider when looking for alternatives to Zoloft

If you've tried Zoloft in the past or are currently taking it, there are a few things to keep in mind when deciding on an alternative medication or treatment option. It's important to review the following with your doctor:

  • Costs involved: Is there a generic option available? What will your insurance cover? Should you use a prescription discount card?

  • Your symptoms: Your diagnosis and symptoms will help determine the best treatment alternatives.

  • Side effects: What were/are you experiencing while on Zoloft? What are the side effects associated with other medication options?

  • Pregnancy/breastfeeding: Zoloft is often considered safe for pregnant and nursing women. However, certain antidepressants and other medications are advised against during pregnancy.

  • Other health conditions and medications: Some medications may cause adverse reactions when combined with drugs, while some antidepressants may help relieve symptoms associated with other health conditions. For example, Cymbalta is also prescribed for treating fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy, and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Prescription medication alternatives to Zoloft

Several other prescription medications are used to treat the same mental health conditions as Zoloft. These drugs include other SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and atypical antidepressants. 

Other SSRIs commonly prescribed include:

Further reading: Lexapro vs. Zoloft

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs):

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs):

Atypical antidepressants:

Non-medication alternatives to Zoloft

Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of these, combined with medication or on their own. 

Talk therapy 

Psychotherapy (talk therapy) can effectively treat depression and anxiety, especially when combined with medications and other treatment options. 

Talk therapy involves talking with a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, who can help you better understand your thoughts and feelings and how they relate to your behavior. 

Therapy teaches you to recognize negative thought patterns and replace them with healthier ones to help manage your symptoms. 

Lifestyle changes 

Lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping to manage many mental health conditions, like depression. These modifications include:

  • Limiting or eliminating processed foods, refined carbs, and foods high in trans fat and sugar

  • Focusing on a healthy, balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids

  • Quitting smoking

  • Avoiding alcohol and drug use

  • Regulating sleep habits

  • Increasing physical activity

  • Management of  stress 

Making these adjustments in your daily life can significantly reduce the effects of depression, anxiety, and other illnesses. 

Herbal Supplements 

Certain herbal supplements may have positive effects on managing mental health symptoms. These natural herbal supplements include:

Before taking any herbal supplement, you should consult your doctor first due to potential interactions they may have with any other medications you are taking or your existing medical conditions.

Final thoughts

While Zoloft is one of the top prescribed medications, other options are available if you find that the drug isn’t helping your symptoms or if you are experiencing adverse side effects. 

The best depression, anxiety, or other mental health treatment plan will depend on your individual needs and preferences, so it's important you discuss all options thoroughly with your doctor before starting or stopping any treatment options. 

At CareCard, we are passionate about helping make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. Learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.


What are the common side effects of Zoloft, and when should I seek medical attention?

Common side effects of Zoloft include headache, nausea, dizziness, and trouble sleeping. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience allergic reactions, fast/irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, or suicidal thoughts.

What factors should I consider when looking for alternatives to Zoloft?

Consider factors such as the costs involved, your specific symptoms, side effects experienced, pregnancy/breastfeeding considerations, and interactions with other health conditions and medications when exploring alternatives to Zoloft.

Are there other SSRIs similar to Zoloft that I can consider?

Yes, there are several other SSRIs, including Celexa, Prozac, Pexeva, Paxil, and Lexapro. Discuss with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable alternative based on your needs.

What non-medication alternatives can complement or replace Zoloft for treating mental health conditions?

Non-medication alternatives include talk therapy (psychotherapy), lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, and herbal supplements like St John's Wort, Omega-3 fatty acids, and Ashwagandha root extract. Consult your doctor before incorporating herbal supplements.

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