Can you come off Sertraline after 2 weeks?

In this article, we will discuss coming off Sertraline just after taking it for two weeks. We will talk about the dangers associated with leaving your depression treatment halfway and what you should do if you have a valid reason to stop taking this antidepressant.

Can you come off Sertraline after 2 weeks?

You can come off Sertraline after 2 weeks, but you shouldn’t unless you have a valid reason to do so. Sertraline is an antidepressant, and these medications don’t work quickly. They usually take about 4-6 weeks to start making noticeable changes in your body (1). 

Dealing with depression isn’t easy, and Sertraline isn’t a quick fix. It’s essential to give it time, typically 8-12 weeks, to see the full effects. During the initial weeks, you might experience side effects like insomnia, nausea, or increased anxiety (2,3). 

However, these tend to improve as your body adjusts to the medication. Importantly, you should never stop taking Sertraline without discussing it with your healthcare provider. Your doctor can provide guidance on the best course of action for your specific situation.

What are the potential risks of coming off Sertraline just after 2 weeks?

The potential risks of coming off Sertraline just after 2 weeks include:

Therapeutic failure

Sertraline and similar antidepressants require time to show their full therapeutic effects. Stopping the medication prematurely, such as after only two weeks, increases the risk of therapeutic failure. 

Depression symptoms may persist because the medication hasn’t had sufficient time to make the necessary changes in your brain chemistry. This can lead to a prolonged period of suffering without the expected relief.

Worsening of symptoms

For some individuals, discontinuing Sertraline early may result in a worsening of their depressive symptoms. Depression is a complex condition, and abrupt medication discontinuation can disrupt the progress made. 

This can lead to heightened feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and other debilitating symptoms, potentially making it even more challenging to manage daily life.

Withdrawal symptoms

While withdrawal symptoms are more commonly associated with long-term use of antidepressants, some people may experience mild withdrawal effects even after a short duration of Sertraline (4). 

These symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, irritability, and mood changes. It’s important to note that these symptoms are usually less severe and of shorter duration compared to withdrawal from long-term use.

When is it okay to stop taking Sertraline after 2 weeks?

While Sertraline is typically meant for longer-term use to manage conditions like depression and anxiety, there are situations where discontinuing it early might be considered. The following situations include:

Allergic reactions

Some individuals may discover they are allergic to Sertraline, even if they didn’t initially exhibit symptoms. 

Allergic reactions can sometimes have a delayed onset, meaning signs of an allergy may not appear immediately. In such cases, it’s crucial to stop taking the medication and consult a healthcare professional if you suspect an allergic reaction (1).

Intolerable side effects

Some people may experience side effects that become unbearable and significantly impact their quality of life, so they may consider discontinuing Sertraline. 

These side effects can include nausea, sleep disturbances, or mood changes (2,3). Your doctor can help evaluate whether these side effects are severe enough to allow discontinuation.

Suicidal behaviour in individuals younger than 24 years of age

Sertraline carries an FDA black box warning due to the potential for increased suicidal thoughts in this age group (2,5). 

If you or someone you know experiences such thoughts while taking Sertraline, it’s critical to seek immediate medical attention and consider discontinuing the medication if it poses a danger to life.

In all cases, the decision to stop taking Sertraline should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider who can assess your individual situation and guide you towards the safest and most appropriate course of action for your mental health and well-being.

How to ensure the safe and effective use of Sertraline?

The following points are important to ensure the safe and effective use of Sertraline (2):

  • Always take Sertraline exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Follow the recommended dose and schedule.
  • Sertraline takes time to work. It can take 4-6 weeks or even longer to feel the full benefits. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.
  • Never stop taking Sertraline suddenly. Discuss any changes with your doctor. Abrupt discontinuation can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
  • Be aware of any signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical help if you suspect an allergy.
  • If you experience any side effects that are bothersome or concerning, inform your doctor. They can adjust your treatment if necessary.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol while taking Sertraline. Alcohol can interact with the medication and worsen side effects.
  • Let your doctor know about all other medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, as some can interact with Sertraline.
  • If you’re under 24, be vigilant about changes in mood, especially during the early weeks. Sertraline carries an FDA warning about increased suicidal thoughts in this age group.
  • Keep regular appointments with your doctor to discuss your progress and any concerns. They can make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.


In this article, we have discussed stopping Sertraline just after taking it for 2 weeks. We have discussed the potential risks of doing that and in what conditions it is okay to stop Sertraline after 2 weeks.

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National Library of Medicine. Sertraline: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from:


Fava GA, Gatti A, Belaise C, Guidi J, Offidani E. Withdrawal symptoms after selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation: a systematic review. Psychother Psychosom. 2015;84(2):72-81. doi:10.1159/000370338.


Fornaro M, Anastasia A, Valchera A, Carano A, Orsolini L, Vellante F, Rapini G, Olivieri L, Di Natale S, Perna G, Martinotti G, Di Giannantonio M, De Berardis D. The FDA “Black Box” Warning on Antidepressant Suicide Risk in Young Adults: More Harm Than Benefits? Front Psychiatry. 2019 May 3;10:294. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00294. PMID: 31130881; PMCID: PMC6510161.

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