Zoloft Side Effects

Zoloft (Sertraline)

Zoloft Side Effects
Credit: Terry Vine/Getty Images

What Is Zoloft? | Dosage | Side Effects | Interactions | Warnings and Precautions | Should I Take Zoloft? | Stopping Zoloft

As with all prescription medications, Zoloft may cause certain unwanted effects called side effects. 

Most Common Zoloft Side Effects

The most common side effects experienced with Zoloft include:

  • agitation
  • increased sweating

More Serious Zoloft Side Effects

It is important to be aware that in some rare cases Zoloft's side effects may be severe and possibly life-threatening. If you experience any of the following more serious side effects, please seek immediate medical assistance:

  • severe allergic reaction (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; or swelling around the mouth, face or lips)
  • unusual behavior
  • black or bloody stools
  • chest pain
  • decreased bladder control
  • decreased concentration
  • decreased coordination
  • exaggerated reflexes
  • fainting
  • new or worsening agitation
  • panic attacks
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • hallucination
  • memory loss
  • aggressiveness
  • impulsiveness
  • irritability
  • hostility
  • exaggerated feeling of well-being
  • restlessness, or the inability to sit still
  • persistent or severe ringing in the ears
  • persistent, painful erection
  • red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
  • seizures
  • severe or persistent anxiety or trouble sleeping
  • severe or persistent headache
  • stomach pain
  • suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • tremor
  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • unusual or severe mental or mood changes
  • unusual weakness
  • vision changes
  • worsening of depression

Zoloft Side Effects in Children and Adolescents

It is also important to note that certain serious side effects may potentially occur in children and adolescents, including:

  • abnormal increase in muscle movement or agitation
  • nose bleeds
  • more frequent urination
  • urinary incontinence
  • aggressiveness
  • heavy menstrual periods
  • possible slowed growth rate and weight change (should be monitored by your child's physician)

What to Do About Zoloft Side Effects

The type and severity of side effects will vary from person to person.  If you experience any of the more serious side effects, you should seek immediate medical attention. For most, however, side effects will be minimal and will probably lessen with time. 

If you do experience any side effects that do not go away or become disruptive to your life, please consult with your doctor for advice. There are many strategies which your doctor might use to help you better cope with side effects, such as changing your dose, switching you to a different medication or giving you additional medications to help counteract any negative effects. There are also many self-help strategies that you can use to better cope with your side effects. Examples of self-help coping strategies might be sucking on candy to deal with dry mouth or taking naps during the day to cope with fatigue.  Your doctor will be best able to advise you what to do given your own unique circumstances.

You should always consult with your doctor before making changes to your medication regimen or stopping your antidepressant. In addition to there being a risk of your depression returning, you also run the risk of developing what is known as discontinuation syndrome. Discontinuation syndrome - which includes such symptoms as muscle aches, nausea, dizziness and electric-shock sensations - can occur when you suddenly stop taking your antidepressant.

Not all potential side effects are listed here. Please ask your doctor or pharmacist if you require further information.

If you wish to report side effects to the FDA, they may be reached at 1-800-FDA-1088.


"Medication Guide."  Zoloft.com.  Pfizer, Inc.  Updated:  August 2014. Accessed: Jan. 25, 2016.

Continue Reading