Zoloft and Seizures

There are many rare but possible side effects of Zoloft. Seizures are a rare side effect of Zoloft, occurring in up to 0.2 percent of people taking the medication. Reports of experiencing seizures with Zoloft were most common in people taking the medication for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Also, the relationship between Zoloft and seizures was more pronounced in people who had a history of seizure disorder.

Zoloft and Seizures: An Overview

Seizures are a rare side effect of Zoloft® (sertraline hydrochloride). Seizures have occurred in up to 0.2 percent of people taking Zoloft. The highest incidence occurred in those people taking Zoloft for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- 0.2 percent. The lowest incidence of seizure was reported in those people taking Zoloft for depression -- 0.0 percent. Most of the seizures experienced by people taking Zoloft occurred in those who already had a history of seizure disorder. Therefore, if you have seizure disorder (or a history of seizure disorder), your healthcare provider will likely proceed with caution if he or she feels that Zoloft is appropriate for your situation.

Zoloft, Seizures, and Newborns

Zoloft is a pregnancy Category C medicine, meaning that Zoloft could potentially cause harm to your unborn child. This is especially true during the third trimester of pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you should only take Zoloft if your healthcare provider believes the benefits outweigh the possible risk to your unborn child.
Taking Zoloft during the third trimester can increase the risk for serious health problems in the fetus. Children born to mothers who take Zoloft in the third trimester can develop a number of complications that require a prolonged hospital stay. One of these possible complications with Zoloft is seizures.
(Click Zoloft and Pregnancy for more information on the risks of taking Zoloft during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester.)
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