Can Sertraline Cause Weight Loss? [Fact or Fiction 2024 Updated]

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Can Sertraline Cause Weight Loss? You may have heard that most antidepressant medications lead to weight loss, as a side effect. Sertraline, the prescription medicine being sold under the name of Zoloft belongs to the antidepressants category. It has been found that this medication causes weight changes in some people.

So, does sertraline cause weight loss? What to know about this?

Zoloft (Sertraline)

Sertraline is the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drug in the U.S. that is typically noted with some side effects such as weight loss, sleepiness, fatigue, and nausea. Sertraline is widely used to treat conditions such as:  

  • Depression
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

This medication belongs to a group of medicines referred to as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by accelerating the activity of a chemical in the brain called serotonin.

What Are The Available Forms Of Sertraline?

  • Capsule
  • Solution
  • Tablet

How Does Sertraline Work?

Just similar to other SSRIs, the mechanism of action of Sertraline functions by increasing the level of serotonin available in the brain.

Generally, Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (known as a chemical messenger) that helps in the regulation of most elements of our daily life activities such as learning, sleep, mood, and memory. This medication increases the amount of serotonin levels and reduces the severity of depression symptoms. Thus they help in avoiding problems. 

Though these medicines don’t alter the personality, they improve the mood to feel better.

Does Sertraline Lead To Weight Loss?

It has been observed that sertraline may lead to weight loss in some people. As per some research, based on the results, it has been noted that sertraline on use for a short duration causes decreased appetite, which means the person tends to lose weight. 

On the other hand, weight gain also has been witnessed among certain individuals on prolonged use of the medication. If prescribed for long-term use, weight gain is the anticipated side effect of sertraline.

Zoloft (sertraline) leads to weight loss in adolescents and children, compared with adults. Looking at eMedTV, 7% of children who have taken sertraline have been found to lose weight. 2% of adolescents have witnessed weight loss of over 7%.

Typically, those facing significant weight loss are advised to stop the consumption of medication.

Will You Lose Weight With Sertraline?

Though weight gain is the major symptom observed with Sertraline, yet, weight loss can also occur. It is possible to lose weight with this medication if you have the right blend of reduced-calorie meal plan, and exercise routine to burn the calories. Moreover, as a reduced feeling of appetite and nausea are some of the side effects of Sertraline, it also can end up in weight loss. 

For those who are intended to lose weight with Sertraline, it is advised to have an eye on their diet and exercise schedules along with the medication to lose weight.

Antidepressants in Weight Loss

Though most antidepressants have their major part associated with weight gain, still, there are some medications that promote weight loss. If you have been prescribed antidepressants to treat depression and observe weight gain, then you have to discuss with your health provider regarding this and make the change to another medication that possesses reduced risk for weight gain.

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How Can You Lose Weight With Sertraline?

 Are you concerned about your weight? Are you looking to shed some pounds from your weight? Here are the tips for you.

  • Have a consultation with your health provider and check whether taking sertraline is a wise idea to lose weight
  • Be sure that you have a focused diet chart that has low-calorie intake, away from sugary drinks and beverages and fewercarbs
  • In addition, be adhering to regular physical activities.
  • Ensure you do not take the medication for the long term since it tends to gain weight.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Sertraline?

Apart from weight gain or loss, taking sertraline may have side effects. Some of the common side effects that possibly can be experienced include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue and decreased physical activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased sex drive 
  • Other sexual side effects
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Shaking
  • Increased sweating
  • Indigestion

Some of the serious side effects include:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Bleeding And Bruising
  • Agitation 
  • Memory Problems

Dosage of Sertraline

It is highly recommended to take this medicine after the prescription by the doctor. The medication comes with a guide that will give you the required knowledge on proper use.

Speaking about the dosage of sertraline, the right level of dosage varies from person to person. However, the recommended level of dosage is 25-200 mg once daily. 

  • In order to treat depression, panic disorder, OCD, social anxiety disorder, and PTSD, it is suggested to initiate the dose at 25-50 mg once daily.
  • In the case of taking the medication to treat PMDD IQ, it is advised to take 50-150 mg every day of the menstrual cycle. Else, it can be taken for 14 days before menstruation.

Drugs That Can Interact With Sertraline

Sertraline and all SSRIs consumption are not recommended to have along with any of the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) class of antidepressants. This includes:

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan),
  • Selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Elazar), 
  • Phenelzine (Nardil),
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate),
  • Procarbazine (Matulane)

Final Thoughts

Coming to our question of whether Sertraline can cause weight loss, there is no clear answer for this. Sertraline can either cause weight gain or weight loss. It can be said that when prescribed Sertraline for a short duration; it may end in weight loss, while increased weight gain is a side effect of the medication with long-term use.

If you have concerns about your weight and are looking to lose, don’t take the medication by yourself. You can consult with the health provider; work at reducing the portion size of food, put effort into having the right combination of healthy food and physical working habits, and careful monitoring to lose weight. 

Sertraline can augment the Serotonin levels of the person. So, it is obvious that persons who intake this medication will feel confident, and energized.

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As a dietitian graduate, my role on this blog involves delving into the fascinating world of celebrity diets, weight loss strategies, and overall health insights.

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