How Long Until Zoloft Side Effects Go Away? 4 Common Side Effects You Should Be Aware of

Every day in our clinic, one pressing question often arises in this exploration: how long until Zoloft side effects go away? Embarking on a journey toward mental well-being often involves navigating the intricate landscape of medication. Navigating that landscape with Zoloft is no exception.

At our anxiety clinic, where we’ve been at the forefront of mental health treatment for over two decades, our commitment to understanding and managing mental disorders has been unwavering. Having explored various treatment modalities, we recognize the importance of addressing the efficacy and nuances of medications like Zoloft.

Beyond just prescribing, we aim to provide comprehensive insights to empower individuals on their mental health journey. Join us as we delve into the common side effects associated with Zoloft, unraveling the mystery of their duration and offering guidance on when to seek further advice from healthcare professionals.


Quick Summary

  1. Transient Nature of Side Effects: Zoloft’s initial side effects, such as fatigue and nausea, commonly fade within a few weeks as your body adjusts to the medication.
  2. Vigilance and Consultation: While many Zoloft side effects typically diminish in the first two weeks, persistent or worsening symptoms warrant consultation with your doctor for personalized advice and potential alternative treatment options.
  3. To reduce the side effects of sertraline you can try taking sertraline with or after food while also avoiding rich or spicy food
How long until Zoloft side effects go away?

How long until Zoloft side effects go away?

As a seasoned practitioner with over 20 years of experience at our anxiety clinic, I’ve observed that Zoloft’s initial side effects, like fatigue and nausea, typically diminish within a few weeks. This adjustment period is crucial as your body adapts to the medication, allowing patients to experience more tolerable symptoms.

Vigilance and consultation are key components in navigating the trajectory of Zoloft’s side effects. While many symptoms subside within the first two weeks, it’s imperative to remain attentive. If side effects persist or worsen beyond this initial period, seeking personalized advice from your doctor becomes essential. This consultation not only aids in understanding the specific nuances of your response to Zoloft but also opens avenues for considering alternative treatments that align better with your individual needs.

In managing the side effects of Zoloft, lifestyle adjustments can play a pivotal role. Taking Zoloft with or after food, and steering clear of rich or spicy foods, can help reduce potential discomfort. Recognizing that changes in brain chemistry take time, some individuals may notice improvements within the first 1-2 weeks of Zoloft usage.

However, the full therapeutic effects typically manifest between 4 to 6 weeks. This nuanced perspective, derived from years of clinical experience, together with other expert consultations emphasizes the importance of patience and collaborative communication with your healthcare provider throughout your journey with Zoloft.

Does Zoloft fatigue go away?

It’s important to address the common concern of Zoloft-induced fatigue. It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience side effects, including fatigue and sleep disturbances when initiating Zoloft therapy. However, reassuringly, these symptoms often improve after the first week or two of consistent medication use.

It’s crucial to recognize that fatigue can also be a symptom of depression itself, and antidepressant medications like sertraline aim to alleviate such symptoms over time. If you find that Zoloft makes you feel tired or weak, it’s advisable to pause your activities, sit or lie down until you feel better, and avoid tasks that require focus or coordination. Abstaining from alcohol during this period is advisable, as it can exacerbate feelings of fatigue.

For those experiencing prolonged fatigue beyond the initial weeks of treatment, open communication with a doctor is key. They may suggest adjusting the timing of Zoloft intake, such as taking it at night, or exploring alternative antidepressant options. This personalized approach ensures that the benefits of Zoloft are optimized while addressing any persistent side effects, promoting a more comfortable and effective therapeutic experience for the individual.

Why is Sertraline making me so tired?

The fatigue you’re experiencing with sertraline, a common side effect of the medication, is likely connected to its impact on serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep, mood, and emotions. When sertraline increases serotonin levels in the brain, it can influence sleep patterns, leading to feelings of tiredness or sleepiness during the day. It’s not uncommon for this side effect to manifest within the first few months of therapy, as your body adjusts to the medication.

In addition to affecting sleep directly, some antidepressants, including sertraline, may also cause insomnia, making it challenging to fall or stay asleep. This disruption in sleep patterns can contribute to daytime fatigue. For new users, experiencing fatigue may be the body’s initial response to the medication, and research indicates that maintaining good sleep hygiene can play a significant role in mitigating this fatigue while on antidepressants.

If the fatigue persists or becomes bothersome, it’s essential to communicate with your healthcare provider. They may suggest adjusting the timing of your medication, exploring alternative antidepressants, or providing guidance on improving sleep habits to enhance your overall well-being during the course of sertraline treatment.

Best antidepressant for fatigue

Selecting the most suitable antidepressant to address fatigue associated with depression involves considering various options. Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, desipramine, and nortriptyline have been historically used for their efficacy in managing depression and fatigue. Among the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline are commonly prescribed, each having unique profiles in terms of side effects and individual response.

Additionally, SSRIs and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like duloxetine are often employed for conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome due to their effectiveness in addressing both pain and other associated symptoms.

From a pharmacologic standpoint, alternative options for treating depression and fatigue include bupropion, which has a unique mechanism of action and is less likely to cause fatigue as a side effect. Atomoxetine, modafinil, and psychostimulants may also be considered, especially when fatigue is a prominent symptom.

Ultimately, the choice of antidepressant should be individualized, taking into account the patient’s specific symptoms, medical history, and potential side effects. Collaborating closely with a healthcare professional will help determine the most appropriate antidepressant for addressing both depression and associated fatigue.


How long does diarrhea last on Sertraline?

Diarrhea is a recognized side effect of sertraline, and, like other gastrointestinal side effects of antidepressants, it may be transient, resolving within a few weeks for many individuals. However, the persistence of diarrhea is possible in some patients. Most side effects, including diarrhea, tend to occur during the initial weeks of sertraline use.

While sertraline-induced diarrhea typically lasts for a few days to a few weeks, individual variations exist. If the diarrhea is severe or prolonged, it’s essential to consider the possibility of microscopic colitis.

If you find that the diarrhea persists for more than a few weeks or becomes severe, it is advisable to consult with your doctor promptly. They can evaluate the situation, provide guidance, and, if necessary, consider adjustments to your treatment plan to address this side effect effectively.

Zoloft diarrhea, does it go away?

Since diarrhea is a recognized side effect of Zoloft we have to understand that it often occurs in the initial weeks of treatment. In many cases, this gastrointestinal symptom tends to be transient and resolves on its own as the body adjusts to the medication.

For many individuals, Zoloft-induced diarrhea tends to be transient, lasting for a few days to a few weeks. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the majority of side effects, including diarrhea, are more likely to occur in the early stages of Zoloft use.

However, individual responses can vary, and if the diarrhea persists or becomes severe, it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They can assess your specific situation, provide guidance, and consider potential adjustments to your treatment plan to address this side effect effectively. There are also some foods such as grapefruit juice to avoid when taking Zoloft because they can potentiate the side effects.

Moreover,  like nausea and diarrhea, most side effects from sertraline occur during the first few weeks of using the medication. Many common sertraline side effects go away within a few weeks of starting it. Some of these side effects include nausea, changes in sleep patterns, and diarrhea.

How long until Zoloft changes in sleep patterns go away?

Zoloft may initially induce changes in sleep patterns, such as trouble sleeping or insomnia, as a common side effect. Typically, these alterations are temporary and tend to subside within a few weeks as your body adjusts to the medication.

It’s not uncommon to experience insomnia symptoms for the first few days, weeks, or even months of Zoloft use until your system becomes acclimated to the drug. Fatigue and sleep issues, often associated with Zoloft, generally improve after the initial week or two of continued therapy.

While side effects like nausea, headaches, and trouble sleeping are common, they are usually mild and temporary. In the majority of cases, patients at our clinic report that these side effects become tolerable and diminish within the first week or two of initiating Zoloft. However, if you find that the side effects persist beyond this timeframe or worsen, it is crucial to consult with your prescriber.


Navigating the landscape of Zoloft’s side effects involves recognizing their transient nature. As discussed, the initial symptoms, such as fatigue and nausea, commonly diminish within a few weeks as your body adapts to the medication. However, vigilance remains key. While many side effects tend to subside in the initial two weeks, persistent or worsening symptoms require consultation with your doctor.

Addressing the practical aspects of managing side effects, taking Zoloft with or after food, and avoiding rich or spicy foods can contribute to minimizing discomfort. Importantly, understanding that changes in brain chemistry, lead to improvements, is a gradual process. While some individuals may notice positive changes within the first 1-2 weeks of Zoloft use, the full therapeutic effects typically unfold over 4-6 weeks.

In your journey with Zoloft, patience is paramount. Recognizing the nuanced timeline of side effects and therapeutic outcomes underscores the importance of ongoing communication with your healthcare provider.

Dr. David Barlow

David is a well-known researcher and author in the anxiety disorders area with extensive research on their etiology, nature, and treatment. He started the site to share his real-life experiences on the management of anxiety disorders with successful diagnosis and treatment being his motivation to write or review the content on this site.