Does Zoloft (Sertraline) Cause Diarrhea & Decreased Appetite? 5 Negative Zoloft Effects on the Gut

Does Zoloft (Sertraline) Cause Diarrhea & Decreased Appetite?

Every day in our clinic, patients on Zoloft ask “Does Zoloft (sertraline) cause diarrhea?” Being one of the widely prescribed antidepressants and with 10% of the people experiencing diarrhea as an initial side effect, this is a very common answer.

Diarrhea and decreased appetite are some of the most commonly experienced side effects for people taking Zoloft (Sertraline) for anxiety disorders and depression. Diarrhea occurs in approximately 10% of the people taking Sertraline. Diarrhea and decreased appetite normally go away or become less apparent gradually as the body gets used to sertraline in a week or a few weeks.

As with most medications, there are side effects associated with taking Zoloft. Many of these side effects are mild and go away after a few days or weeks. However, some side effects may be more serious and require you to stop taking Zoloft immediately and contact your doctor.

In this article, we will explain what diarrhea from Zoloft means, what other factors could be contributing to it, and how you can manage it if you experience this side effect from the drug.


Does Zoloft (Sertraline) Cause Diarrhea?

Sertraline, also known as Zoloft, may cause diarrhea in some individuals. About 10% of people starting the medication may experience this side effect. Although nausea, indigestion, and dry mouth are common during the initial stages of sertraline use, they typically improve as treatment progresses. However, if these side effects persist and become troublesome, it’s crucial to seek advice from a healthcare provider.

After long-term use or when using a high dosage, diarrhea can be a sign or symptom associated with serotonin syndrome. Do not drink grapefruit juice or ingest grapefruit while you’re taking Zoloft. Grapefruit juice can increase the amount of sertraline in your body. An increase in the amount of sertraline may increase the risk of side effects including serotonin syndrome.

It’s common to experience side effects such as diarrhea and nausea when starting to take sertraline (Zoloft), but they usually go away within a few weeks. Most of these side effects occur during the initial weeks as the body adjusts to the medication. If the side effects persist beyond this time, it’s best to seek advice from a healthcare provider who can guide you regarding potential dose adjustments or medications to manage the symptoms. Sertraline is an antidepressant medication that is used to treat depression and anxiety.

Does Zoloft (Sertraline) Cause Decreased Appetite?

Is sertraline causing my diarrhea?

Diarrhea is a common side effect of people taking sertraline and it occurs in up to 10% of the people taking Zoloft consistently in the first few days or weeks after starting the dosage. Diarrhea associated with Zoloft is usually categorized as “prolonged,” meaning it lasts for more than a few days to weeks.

Sertraline, a commonly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant, can lead to changes in gastrointestinal (GI) function for some individuals. The high concentration of serotonin in the GI tract can be affected by the medication, potentially resulting in non-bloody, watery diarrhea, along with symptoms like fecal urgency, incontinence, and even nocturnal episodes. It’s worth noting that among the SSRIs, sertraline is often considered the most likely to cause diarrhea.

If you are experiencing persistent or bothersome gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms while taking sertraline, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation and potential adjustments to your treatment plan. In case the diarrhea from Zoloft is happening for no apparent reason and does not stop on its own, you should talk to your doctor about stopping the medication.

Diarrhea may lead to dehydration, which in turn can cause many other health problems, such as dizziness, weakness, confusion, and weight loss. Therefore, it is essential to address any GI symptoms promptly to avoid further complications. We recommend taking lots of fluids with the medication in case you have diarrhea.

Why Does Zoloft (sertraline) Cause Diarrhea?

When you take Zoloft (sertraline) your body does not reabsorb serotonin like it normally does. An increase in serotonin stimulates both the central nervous system serotonin receptors and the digestive system serotonin receptors. Thus, the increase in serotonin can overwhelm the digestive system causing loose stools and other digestive system symptoms such as nausea, constipation, and reduced appetite.

There are a few potential reasons as to why Zoloft can cause diarrhea. One way that Zoloft could cause diarrhea is if you experience too much serotonin, which can happen when you stop taking this medication abruptly. This is because serotonin has an effect on your digestive system and causes the colon to contract and flush more frequently than normal.

Another reason for diarrhea from Zoloft is that some people may have an allergy to Zoloft or one of the inactive ingredients in the drug. In this case, allergy symptoms would include a rash, hives, itching, swelling of the face and/or mouth area, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest area, changes in heart rate and blood pressure levels, dizziness or lightheadedness, nausea or vomiting.

If you observe any of these symptoms while taking Zoloft or develop them upon suddenly stopping the medication, contact your doctor right away as this may be a sign that you are allergic to the drug.

How to Manage the Effect of Zoloft on Bowel Movements

How to Manage the Effect of Zoloft on Bowel Movements

Zoloft is known for the side effects it can cause, especially diarrhea. It is not common but it has been reported by some people. Diarrhea is a condition characterized by undue amounts of water in the stool, which causes stool to become loose and liquid-like.

While this side effect seems uncomfortable, it should go away after a few days or weeks. If you experience persistent problems with your bowel movements due to Zoloft, there are ways you can try and manage it or reduce its occurrence.

For example, one way you can try to lessen the effects of the number of bowel movements you have each day is by taking plenty of fluids (water) to help keep your body hydrated.

You could also try taking an over-the-counter medication like Loperamide which stops diarrhea by slowing down how fast your intestines move food through your system. Taking loperamide may lead you to have fewer bowel movements per day so make sure you don’t take more than the recommended dosage on the package label.

Does diarrhea go away on Zoloft?

In most cases, diarrhea from Sertraline goes away or becomes less pronounced in a week or a few weeks as your body becomes tolerant to the consistent therapeutic dose of Zoloft. If diarrhea lasts longer than 4 weeks, then it is worth checking with your doctor.

If you have diarrhea as a side effect of Zoloft, know that it should gradually become less apparent throughout the first few weeks. If diarrhea continues after 4 weeks, if it becomes more severe, or if you have any other concerns related to this side effect, contact your doctor.

Diarrhea can be managed by drinking lots of fluids and eating plenty of fiber-rich foods such as whole grains and vegetables. You will also want to avoid dairy products and other foods that may irritate your stomach until this side effect has passed.

How long do initial side effects of Zoloft last?

Many of the common side effects of Zoloft, such as nausea, diarrhea, reduced appetite, sleepiness, and headaches, are often temporary and go away within a few days to weeks. A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that seventy-nine percent of patients had at least one side effect but the majority only lasted a week or two.

This is because the body gets used to the Zoloft in a week or two. The elevated levels of serotonin can cause side effects but as the body is able to balance the effects of serotonin the side effects subside.

In some cases, however, the side effects may last for longer. If the side effects last longer than a few weeks or become worse, it is important to inform your doctor. The doctor may decide to change the dosage or in case of adverse effects change the medication altogether.

Why do SSRIs cause diarrhea?

Serotonin can affect both gut and brain receptors.

An increase in the serotonin levels in the body affects the gut by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract receptors as well as the serotonin receptors in the brain. This leads to the production of more serotonin and relaxation of the smooth muscles in the intestine, which allows for an increase in motility. That’s why some people may experience diarrhea or loose stools as a side effect of Zoloft.

Diarrhea is not considered a serious side effect; it won’t lead to long-term problems. However, it can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, no matter how mild in nature it is. Plus, diarrhea that doesn’t go away could be caused by something more serious like gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

It’s important to note that people who experience this side effect should talk to their doctor before stopping taking Zoloft if they have any questions about living with this condition or making dietary changes in order to reduce diarrhea symptoms.

How can I manage diarrhea?

If you need to stop taking Zoloft immediately due to diarrhea, discuss your symptoms with your doctor before resuming treatment. Your doctor will help you determine what else might be causing your symptoms and create a new medication plan for you accordingly.

There are a few steps you can take when dealing with diarrhea from Zoloft and other medications:

  • Drink plenty of fluids (at least 8 cups per day)
  • Eat healthy foods like fruit and vegetables that are high in fiber
  • Avoid sugary foods (like fruit juices) and greasy fast food
  • Take over-the-counter drugs like Imodium A

You can use one or a few of the steps above to deal with Zoloft-induced diarrhea or loose stool. The method applied depends on the frequency and the seriousness of the condition.

How long after starting Zoloft do you get your appetite back?

Some people report that nausea and loss of appetite associated with Zoloft last for approximately two weeks. However, this is an average time frame that may vary by individual. The side effects associated with taking Zoloft usually subside after a few days to weeks.

Some people feel nauseous or experience loss of appetite for up to two weeks after starting the drug. These side effects typically go away within this time frame, but it may take as long as four weeks for some people to recover from them fully.

If you are experiencing loss of appetite or nausea, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any additional doses of Zoloft. This is especially true if these symptoms persist for more than two weeks without improvement.

Do antidepressants suppress your appetite?

Yes, decreased appetite is a common side effect of antidepressants, including Zoloft. One of the most common side effects associated with taking antidepressants is a decrease in appetite. This can lead to short-term weight loss and may also be indicative of other side effects of the drugs.

As with any medication, there’s always the potential for negative side effects but only you or your doctor can determine if the benefits outweigh the risks for you. The decision to take Zoloft is up to you.

However, it’s important to be aware of all the potential Zoloft side effects before deciding whether to take this drug for your condition.

Does Zoloft suppress your appetite?

Yes, reduced appetite is one of the common side effects of Zoloft. Zoloft (sertraline), like some other antidepressant medications, can affect appetite in different ways for different individuals. While it doesn’t universally suppress appetite, some people may experience changes in their eating habits while taking Zoloft. These changes can occur due to several mechanisms:

  1. Direct Effect on Serotonin: Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays a role in regulating mood and appetite. Zoloft works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can impact how an individual feels about food. Some people may experience decreased appetite as a result.
  2. Indirect Effects: Zoloft can have indirect effects on appetite due to its influence on mood and emotional well-being. If the medication helps improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety, individuals may find that their appetite returns to normal as their mental health improves.
  3. Side Effects: On the other hand, some individuals may experience increased appetite or weight gain as a side effect of Zoloft. This can be due to the medication affecting the regulation of certain hormones that control appetite and metabolism.
  4. Individual Variability: It’s important to note that the impact on appetite can vary greatly from person to person. Some may experience appetite suppression, while others may experience increased appetite or no significant change at all.

This means that less water will be absorbed by the body and instead go into your intestines and cause constipation. It’s essential to discuss any changes in appetite or eating habits with your healthcare provider while taking Zoloft.

Does Zoloft cause weight loss?

Mostly, antidepressants like Zoloft cause weight gain but you may lose weight as you start taking the medication due to diarrhea and reduced appetite side effects.

Zoloft, sertraline, is a medication used to treat depression and anxiety. It is also used to prevent migraine headaches. As with any medication, there are side effects that may occur as you take Zoloft.

Diarrhea may be one of these side effects. Diarrhea can be caused by certain medications like Zoloft and can be categorized as a serious or non-serious side effect. If diarrhea is severe and lasts for more than two days, it will require you to stop taking the medication and contact your healthcare provider.

If your diarrhea from Zoloft is not severe but lasts for more than two days, contact your healthcare provider because this could indicate another underlying medical condition that needs treatment. If you are experiencing diarrhea from Zoloft, you should note that it does cause weight loss but rather than weight gain due to decreased appetite and slowed digestion.

Sometimes weight loss may occur if the diarrhea causes nausea or vomiting which will result in reduced appetite after eating anything due to the stomach pain or discomfort associated with vomiting.

Does everyone gain weight on Zoloft?

Not everyone gains a substantive amount of weight when taking Zoloft for depression or anxiety disorders.

Zoloft is a prescription medication that is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder. It belongs to a class of medications known as SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants.

Zoloft is FDA-approved for use in these conditions. However, it may be also prescribed off-label for obsessive-compulsive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), social anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and premenstrual syndrome.

Zoloft can cause many side effects, some of which are mild and don’t last long after you stop taking the drug. Other side effects may be more serious and require you to stop taking Zoloft immediately and contact your doctor.

Diarrhea is one of the potential side effects associated with Zoloft (sertraline). We’ll explain what diarrhea from Zoloft means, what other factors could be contributing to it, and how you can manage it if you experience this side effect from the drug.

I lost weight on Zoloft

SSRIs such as Zoloft may cause weight loss with short-term use due to side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and reduced appetite, but taking them for 6 months or more can lead to weight gain.

Zoloft is typically prescribed for patients looking to treat depression, panic disorders and generalized anxiety disorder, but you may experience a weight change while taking the drug.

Some users have reported weight loss and others weight gain. One factor that could be contributing to these changes in weight is that SSRIs – one of the categories of antidepressants for which Zoloft falls – can cause diarrhea, nausea, and reduced appetite.

Therefore, if you experience these side effects from Zoloft, your appetite may decrease and it will be more difficult for you to eat enough calories to keep your body weight consistent.

However, some people taking SSRIs such as Zoloft have also experienced an increase in their weight. This increase in weight is linked to the medication’s tendency to suppress nighttime hormonal fluctuations that can lead to increased hunger during the day and increased caloric intake at night.

Basically, by reducing the hormone shifts that regulate mood swings or depressive episodes, SSRIs like Zoloft also reduce hormonal shifts related to appetite control which can lead to an increase in your food intake.

In addition to these side effects, other factors could contribute to a change in body weight such as eating habits or lifestyle choices. If you feel like something else is contributing more than the medication itself then it might be a good idea for you to talk with your doctor about adjusting your diet or exercise routine or switching medications.

Does Zoloft 50 mg cause weight loss?

Weight loss when taking Zoloft 50 mg is a problem in the short term mainly due to digestive tract side effects. Short-term weight loss from Zoloft is one of the potential Zoloft side effects that you should be aware of before taking this medication.

In the long run after taking the medication for more than 6 months, weight gain is experienced.

Zoloft is a SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant drug. It is categorized as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant drug. As with most medications, there are side effects associated with taking Zoloft.

Many of these side effects are mild and go away after a few days or weeks. However, some side effects may be more serious and require you to stop taking Zoloft immediately and contact your doctor.

What is Zoloft?

Zoloft is an antidepressant medication that belongs to the SSRI class of drugs.  It is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug class.

Zoloft blocks serotonin from being reabsorbed by the presynaptic neuron after it has been released in response to an excitatory signal from another neuron.

This increased serotonin availability in the synapse causes a series of downstream effects that make you less likely to feel depressed or experience anxiety.

Reducing stress and anxiety is useful for people with depression, but many side effects are common with SSRIs. In some cases, they are so bad that patients choose to stop taking the drug rather than continue.

Sertraline is a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It works by increasing the availability of serotonin, a chemical messenger that plays an important role in regulating anxiety and other behaviors. 


In this article, we have explored the side effects that are associated with Zoloft and diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common side effect of Zoloft. As with most medications, many other factors could be contributing to the diarrhea you experience while taking this medication.

It can be difficult to determine what is causing your diarrhea without first talking to your doctor or a gastroenterologist.

It is important to note that if you experience diarrhea while taking Zoloft and it does not subside over time, you should contact your doctor immediately as there may be more serious causes for this side effect.

If you need help managing diarrhea from Zoloft, talk with your doctor about possible remedies such as eating foods high in fiber or taking probiotics and stool softeners.


What is the definition of diarrhea from Zoloft?

Diarrhea from Zoloft refers to the symptom of having loose, watery stools two or more times a day for at least four days in a row when taking the medication Zoloft. When this happens, you should contact your doctor to discuss whether or not you should continue taking this medication

What are other factors that could cause diarrhea?

Some factors that can cause diarrhea include infection with bacteria, viruses, or parasites; certain medications; underlying medical conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS); and food poisoning. If you have any other symptoms along with the diarrhea then it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible.

When does Zoloft diarrhea start?

When starting to take the medication, about 1 in 10 people may experience this side effect. At the beginning of treatment, it’s common to feel nausea, indigestion, or have a dry mouth. However, as time goes by, these side effects usually improve. But if they don’t, it’s important to talk to your doctor.

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.