Zoloft (Sertraline) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is primarily prescribed for outpatient treatment of depressive disorders in adults and panic, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders in both children and adults. While Zoloft’s side effects are much reduced when compared to older antidepressants, it is important to understand what you may face if you choose to use Zoloft as a treatment option.
The most common side effects of Zoloft experienced by patients are outlined below, along with an approximate percentage of patients suffering from those side effects.
In addition to the side effects outlined above, patients may experience a variety of less common side effects. The following side effects were experienced by at least 1% of Zoloft users.
Impotence, heart palpitations and chest pain, muscle tightness and loss of flexibility, reduced sense of touch or sensation, increased appetite, back pain, weakness or loss of strength, malaise, weight increase, muscle pain, excessive yawning, irritation of the nose, ringing in the ears.
The following side effects were experienced by 0.1% to 1% of Zoloft users, impacting from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 100 patients.
Flushing, increased saliva, cold or clammy skin, dilated pupils, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, dizziness when standing, low blood pressure when standing, swelling around the eyes, decreased peripheral blood flow, hypotension, syncope (temporary loss of consciousness due to low blood flow to the brain), edema, twitching, confusion, increased muscular activity, vertigo, ataxia (lack of muscular coordination), increased sensitivity to stimuli, leg cramps, abnormal gait, involuntary eye movement, tooth decay, difficulty swallowing, increased belching, inflammation of the esophagus, inflammation of the stomach and intestines, fever, rigors, excessive thirst, joint pain, dystonia (involuntary muscular contractions), muscle cramps, depression, amnesia, morbid dreaming, teeth grinding, apathy, emotional lability, paranoid reaction, hallucinations, aggressive reactions, delusions, menstrual disorders, vaginal hemorrhage, amenorrhea (absence or cessation of menstruation), vaginal discharge, coughing, shortness of breath, upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, nosebleed, bronchial spasms, earaches, eye pain, conjunctivitis, increased urination, pain during urination, excessive urination at night, urinary incontinence.
The following side effects were experienced by 0.01% to 0.001% of Zoloft users, impacting from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 1,000 patients.
Aggravated hypertension, heart attack, cerebrovascular disorder (disease of the blood vessels to the brain), difficulty in speaking, coma, eczema, dermatitis, pustular rash, skin discoloration, abnormal body hair growth, protruding eyeballs, development of male breast tissue, dark or bloody stool, inflammation of the tongue, hiccups, fecal incontinence, inflammation of the rectum, tongue ulcers, canker sores, sensitivity to sound, labyrinthine disorder (including balance disorders, tinnitus, vertigo, and hearing loss), anemia, eye hemorrhage, hypoglycemia, withdrawal syndrome, illusion, female breast pain, increased breast size, dry eyes, oversensitivity to light, double vision, excessive tear production.
If you experience any of the side effects associated Zoloft it is critical you speak with your doctor as soon as possible. Your physician can adjust your prescription or offer other medications which can help to reduce or eliminate problematic side effects. While it is impossible to remove all side effects, in most cases working with your doctor can help to relieve your most distressing symptoms.
You should not quit taking Zoloft without medical supervision. There is a significant risk of withdrawal syndrome, which can lead to depression, agitation, anxiety, and aggression, as well as other side effects. Always discuss changes in medication with your doctor and do not discontinue use of Zoloft without appropriate supervision.