Published on 24 October 2021

Does Sertraline Cause Weight Gain?

Sertraline (Zoloft) does-sertraline-cause-weight-gain
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Weight gain is a common problem every individual is facing nowadays. It means fat storage in excess muscle and fat deposits in the body percentage. It shows an increase in body weight. Some people tend to gain weight more rapidly, which should be looked after with the help of the Doctor. In some cases, medical conditions lead to weight gain.

According to the Centers for disease control and Prevention (CDC ), about 43% of adults have obesity with depression. This can be cured if proper precautions and help are taken from the general practitioners. 

Thus people who are consuming antidepressant drugs for more extended periods gain weight. Know about sertraline causes weight gain or not.

What Is Sertraline?

Sertraline, sold under the brand name Zoloft, belongs to a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. They are commonly used as antidepressants. 

Sertraline treats major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attack disorder, social anxiety disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

You need a compulsory prescription to get sertraline online if you are about to purchase Sertraline in the USA. 

How Does Sertraline Work?

Any medications in the pharmaceuticals work differently. This all depends on various factors of the person who is consuming it. Medications that belong to the same drug class work similarly.
Sertraline treats anxiety and depression by preventing the reabsorption of a neurotransmitter in the brain called serotonin. By blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, the level of neurotransmitters increases, which can ultimately enhance mood. Once the mood is enhanced, you will feel changes in your body.

Does Sertraline Cause Weight Gain?

Antidepressants and SSRIs have been associated with body composition and weight gain alterations. According to a follow-up study by SSRI, antidepressant use potentiates weight gain in the context of unhealthy lifestyles; it has resulted that the more often you use them, the more likely you’ll gain weight.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in 2016, researchers have compared antidepressants & their effects on body weight. It was found that Sertraline was among the many drugs associated with weight gain, as many of the users experienced a “modest weight gain.”

Though antidepressants like Sertraline are not closely related to weight gain as other antidepressants, there is not enough study to prove the link between sertraline use and increased body weight. Since most antidepressants are associated with weight gain, subjective evidence suggests that Sertraline may cause weight gain in some patients.

Why Does Sertraline Cause Weight Gain?

According to a study, antidepressants like Sertraline may stimulate your appetite by making you hungrier than average, affecting your ability to suppress the craving to eat. Certain medical conditions like hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome & polycystic ovary syndrome also contribute to gaining weight. 

Since medications like Sertraline are prescribed for long-term use, even a slight increase in your appetite can significantly impact your weight. Over time, an increase in calorie intake can lead to weight gain. 

In a nutshell, weight gain is a known side effect of Sertraline and other antidepressants. While it is also found that Sertraline & other depressants may cause weight gain, it also leads to weight loss in some people when depressed.

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How to Avoid Weight Gain from Sertraline?

As gaining weight from Sertraline might be unavoidable, there are specific steps that you can follow to minimize the amount of weight gain while taking the medication.

  • Weigh yourself before you start
  •  Maintain your regular eating habits
  • Stay active
  • Weigh yourself weekly; avoid weighing daily
  • If you are gaining weight, inform your healthcare provider immediately
  • If you are losing weight, notify your healthcare provider immediately

Though SSRIs like Sertraline have a reputation for causing weight gain, by careful monitoring, you can maintain your weight when you are on antidepressants. By using the above mention tips, there is the possibility that you may prevent or minimize fluctuations in weight after you begin to use Sertraline.

However, if you are anxious, depressed, or unfocused before taking any medication, it is always recommended to consult with an expert.

Frequently Asked Questions

The drug increases the serotonin level in your body; it is a mood-enhancing chemical. It does not change your personality. It makes you feel calm and enhance a happy spirit of well-being.
Depending on your condition, your doctor prescribes the drug to use; for depression, you can take up to six months, and for OCD, you might take up to 12 months. Your doctor should advise it.
There are fewer sertraline-affecting symptoms like hallucinations, psychosis, mania, or memory loss.

Dosage Of Sertraline

Take the drug your doctor prescribes, and follow all the instructions below the label before following the cure.

  • You can take the drug with or without food simultaneously every day.
  • If you are taking a liquid form of sertraline, dilute it before you take it.
  • If you have any doubts, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Dosage for Major depressive disorder:

  • Adult dose: 50mg per day. (Your doctor may increase your amount as needed)
  • Maximum dose: 200mg per day. 

Dosage for Obsessive-compulsive Disorder( For Adults): 

  • Starting Dose: 50 mg per day.
  • Maximum dose: 200 mg per day.

Child dose: Age between 13-17

  • Starting dose: 25mg per day
  • Maximum amount: 200mg per day.

Dosage for panic disorder( For Adult):

  • Starting Dose: 25 mg (Gradually increased to 50 mg per day after use for one week)
  • Maximum dose: 200mg per day.

Dosage for a social anxiety disorder(For Adults):

  • Starting Dose: 25 -50 mg daily; after six weeks of use.
  • Maximum dose: 200 mg per day.

Possible Side Effects

Each drug has its side effects when taken for the first time. It can go off within time if you suffer from common side effects. But if you are suffering from severe effects, you should take the proper care; if it’s uncontrollable, you should take a doctor’s help.

Common Side Effects

Severe Side Effects

Loss of  appetite

Suicidal thoughts








Blurred vision



The above table doesn’t contain a complete list. If you want to know more about it, contact your doctor so they can give you detailed information.  

Precautions Of Sertraline

Some precautions should be followed before taking  the drug, as it can cause a severe allergic reaction, such as 

  • Trouble breathing 
  • Itching and swelling in the face, eyes, and mouth

Call your doctor immediately and seek help if you face any allergic reaction.

  • Alcohol interaction: while taking the drug, if you are drinking alcohol, it will increase the risk of drowsiness. You will get sleepy and tired; this will lead to making the drug to get clear from your body hard. 
  • People with glaucoma: Taking the medication will Trigger glaucoma, so talk with your doctor before taking the medicine before taking it.
  • People with bipolar disorder: People with a history of manic episodes should consult a doctor before taking the drug.
  • People with seizures: People with seizures will increase your condition's risk, so ask your doctor for a consultation.
  • People with kidney problems: If you have any kidney issues or have a history of kidney problems, the drug will take time to clear your body. It will lead to cause some side effects.
  • For pregnant women: Before taking the Drug, speak with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Some research shows the adverse effects of drugs will affect the fetus during pregnancy.
  • During Breastfeeding: While taking the drug during breastfeeding, it may cause harm to your baby, so be aware of it and speak with your doctor. 

Drug interactions

Sertraline Oral tablet can interact with other drugs, vitamins, and herbal products you are taking while interacting, one or two substances will change the drug's working state, and sometimes, it will harm health. To avoid interaction, speak to a doctor. You are taking all medications and ask your doctor about the drug interaction. 

Please do not take these drugs with sertraline; they can cause serious side effects to the health.

  • Pimozide can cause severe heart problems when taken together with sertraline.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors(MAOIs) include isocarboxazid, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine. This drug will increase the serotonin syndrome when taken together with sertraline. 
  • Avoid taking drugs like linezolid, intravenous methylene blue
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs( NSAIDs) include naproxen, aspirin, and warfarin. This drug will increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Serotonergic medication such as St. John's wort, fentanyl, and tramadol.
  • Avoid taking cimetidine drugs; it may cause a buildup of the drug sertraline in your body. It would help if you took a lower dose of sertraline when taking cimetidine.
  • Tricyclic antidepressant drugs such as amitriptyline, desipramine, and imipramine.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Sertraline belongs to the group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It is a drug approved by the FDA to treat specific mental health conditions, which works in the Central nervous system to help your Serotonin level maintain an average level and Promote a feeling of calm. 

This drug works in your system. While consuming the medicine if you face any side effects while consuming the drug, consult your doctor immediately to avoid any adverse reactions.

Moreover, antidepressants like sertraline will make you gain weight when used for a more extended period due to the depressive effect of the drug, which will cause you to lose your appetite and tend to gain weight.