Sertraline Overdose: Signs, Symptoms, and Precautions

Sertraline is generally considered safe. But it is possible to overdose on it. Be on the lookout for the following signs and symptoms of sertraline overdose.

Share This Post

Sertraline  is a generic prescription antidepressant medication that is also sold under the brand name Zoloft.

It is a popular SSRI antidepressant.  approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) forobsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder (PD). It is also approved for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Although sertraline is generally considered  safe, it is possible to overdose. 

In this post, we’ll look at the signs and symptoms of sertraline overdose. We’ll also talk about what you can do to prevent overdose.

Signs and Symptoms of Sertraline Overdose

Antidepressant drugs, like sertraline, can cause a potentially serious overdose.

Symptoms of sertraline overdose are similar to other SSRI antidepressants, like fluoxetine (Prozac) and citalopram (Celexa).

The most common symptoms of sertraline overdose are tremors, lethargy, and nausea. Agitation, confusion, and lethargy are less common, but are possible. 

Other signs of a sertraline overdose include dizziness, fever, and a rapid heartbeat.

Large amounts of sertraline can cause a more severe overdose. One severe side effect is a potentially deadly heart condition called torsades de pointes. Sertraline can increase your heart rate and affect your heart’s rhythm. Both of these increase your risk for torsades de pointes.

YouTube player

Sertraline may also increase your risk for rhabdomyolysis. This is a serious condition where damaged muscle tissue gets released into your bloodstream. That can damage your kidneys. The most common signs are severe muscle pain, dark colored urine, and feeling extremely fatigued.

Another potentially serious and life-threatening symptom of sertraline overdose is the development of a condition called serotonin syndrome (toxicity).Serotonin syndrome occurs when levels of the neurotransmitter in the body become elevated past safe levels. 

Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:

  • Nausea
  • Convulsions
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Coma 
  • Death

Preventing and Treating Sertraline Overdose

You can take steps to prevent sertraline overdose. First, don’t take any sertraline unless your healthcare provider has prescribed it for you. Second, be sure your healthcare provider knows all the medications you are taking, as well as your other medical conditions. That is the only way they can ensure sertraline is right for you.

Second, if you suspect that you or someone you love is experiencing a sertraline overdose, get medical help immediately or call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

A recent sertraline overdose can sometimes be treated  with stomach pumping or  activated charcoal. Activated charcoal soaks up the medicine so your body can’t absorb it.

However, if not caught quickly, the overdose will have to run its course. If you are experiencing an overdose, your healthcare provider will need to monitor you during this time.

Fatal sertraline overdose is rare. It commonly occurs when  sertraline is mixed with other medications, drugs, or alcohol. Don’t use any other medications or drink alcohol while on sertraline unless your healthcare provider says it’s OK.


Sertraline overdose is common when it is mixed with other medications, drugs, or alcohol. Taking a dosage higher than prescribed can increase your risk of overdose too.

Common symptoms of sertraline overdose include agitation, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Overdose can also cause shakiness, confusion, fever, rapid heartbeat, and sleepiness. 

While fatal overdoses are rare. But they are more likely to occur when sertraline is mixed with other interacting medications, alcohol, or illicit drugs. 

Only take sertraline as prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you think you may be experiencing an overdose, contact your healthcare provider immediately or call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.

References, Studies and Sources: 

Lau GT, Horowitz BZ. Sertraline overdose. Acad Emerg Med. 1996;3(2):132-136. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.1996.tb03400.x

Zoloft – Sertraline Hydrochloride Tablet. DailyMed. January 15, 2023. Accessed June 23, 2023.

Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; February 13, 2023. Accessed June 23, 2023.

Bruggeman C, O’Day CS. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Toxicity. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; July 5, 2022. Accessed June 23, 2023.

Santra R, Chaudhuri PR, Dhali D, Mondal S. Suicidality and suicide attempt in a young female on long-term sertraline treatment. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012;34(4):391-393. doi:10.4103/0253-7176.108230

Barbey JT, Roose SP. SSRI safety in overdose. J Clin Psychiatry. 1998;59 Suppl 15:42-48.

Brendel DH, Bodkin JA, Yang JM. Massive sertraline overdose. Ann Emerg Med. 2000;36(5):524-526. doi:10.1067/mem.2000.111575

Nelson LS, Erdman AR, Booze LL, et al. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor poisoning: An evidence-based consensus guideline for out-of-hospital management. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2007;45(4):315-332. doi:10.1080/15563650701285289

de Boer RA, van Dijk TH, Holman ND, et al. QT interval prolongation after sertraline overdose: a case report. BMC Emerg Med. 2005;5:5. doi:10.1186/1471-227X-5-5

Elsayed M, Abdel-Kahaar E, Gahr M, et al. Arrhythmias related to antipsychotics and antidepressants: an analysis of the summaries of product characteristics of original products approved in Germany. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2021;77(5):767-775. doi:10.1007/s00228-020-03049-x

We are committed to providing our readers with only trusted resources and science-based studies with regards to medication and health information. 

Disclaimer: This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you suspect medical problems or need medical help or advice, please talk with your healthcare professional.

Share This Post Discount Club

Get Started for $1.

  • Cheapest cash pay option at your retail pharmacy
  • 1,000s of drugs below $10.00 that can beat your co-pay
  • Start for $1 for your first month. Cancel anytime. 
  • Tell us your meds, we tell you the cheapest options.

Popular Destinations

Recent Articles

trusted pharmacists giving patient information

Does Taking Effexor Cause Weight Gain?

Taking Effexor may cause weight gain in some patients. Weight gain is a common side effect of Effexor and other antidepressant medications, and more than half of patients on newer classes of antidepressants report experiencing weight gain.

Read More »

Cerebral Review: Online Depression & Anxiety Treatment

Today, we’re deep diving with a Cerebral review to give you some insider info to help you narrow down your choices.

We review and include products we think are useful for our community. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a commission. For more info, please read our ad policy, content principles and vetting policy.

Read More »

Share On:

More To Explore

Does Taking Effexor Cause Weight Gain?

Taking Effexor may cause weight gain in some patients. Weight gain is a common side effect of Effexor and other antidepressant medications, and more

How Long Does Lexapro Take To Work?

If you are considering taking Lexapro for your depression or anxiety, you might be wondering how long it takes to work.

Zoloft and Weight Loss: Everything You Need To Know

When it comes to Zoloft and weight loss, here’s everything you need to know.

Cerebral Review: Online Depression & Anxiety Treatment

Today, we’re deep diving with a Cerebral review to give you some insider info to help you narrow down your choices.

We review and include

What are the signs of Depression?

In this article, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of depression as well as some treatment options for this condition.

Can You Use Gabapentin For Anxiety?

While Neurontin is the most common brand name for gabapentin, other forms (such as Horizant and Gralise) may be prescribed depending on the specific

What is Zoloft?

If you have been recently diagnosed with depression and are given Zoloft, you may want to know how the medication works, what common side

What is Venlafaxine HCL ER?

The prescription drug belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SNRIs), which are commonly used to treat mental

Using Prozac With Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Prozac can be used to treat many different mental health conditions, is associated with a relatively low risk of side effects, and causes the

How Long Does Clonazepam Stay in Your System?

This fast-acting medication is known for being effective at panic attacks, but how long does clonazepam stay in your system?

What is Sertraline and What are the Side Effects?

Sertraline is the generic form of Zoloft, a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs like

Turn On, Tune In, and…. Heal Your Brain? Psychedelics Return as Potential Therapy for Mental Health Disorders

Before they fell out of favor over half a century ago, psychedelic drugs, like psilocybin and LSD, were studied for various psychiatric diseases such

How Long Does Alprazolam Stay in Your System?

Alprazolam is a fast-acting medication, but exactly how long alprazolam stays in your body varies tremendously based on the form of the medication taken,

Paxil vs Zoloft: Differences, Similarities and Which is Better

When it comes to Paxil vs. Zoloft, which is better?

A Supplement for Stress? The Science Behind Adaptogens

Stress is part of all our lives. Adaptogens are a group of herbal supplements studied throughout history as a way to improve the body’s

Does Buspirone Cause Weight Gain?

Many antidepressants can cause weight gain as a side effect. Buspirone may cause an altered appetite as a side effect, which can lead to

Duloxetine Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline, and Treatment

Duloxetine withdrawal is very common and well documented, affecting nearly half of all patients. Common withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, headaches, and nausea, and symptoms

Cymbalta vs. Prozac: Comparison Guide

Cymbalta and Prozac are commonly prescribed medications to treat mental health conditions such as major depressive disorder. The medications are similarly effective, although one

How Long Does Ativan Stay in Your System?

If you use Ativan to manage your health but are curious about how long Ativan lasts in your system, we have all the information

Why is Mental Health Important?

As the saying goes, “There is no health without mental health,” but why is mental health so important? The reality is that although we

What is BuSpar? Uses, Costs, Benefits, and Doses

If you’re one of 40 million American adults suffering from an anxiety disorder or experiencing symptoms of anxiety, you might think that your battle

What are Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics? 

Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics have been shown to prevent psychosis relapse in patients with schizophrenia. To combat poor medication adherence, LAIs are a great

Cymbalta vs Effexor: Differences and Side Effects

Effexor and Cymbalta are antidepressants used for the treatment of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Although both medications are FDA-approved, Effexor and

Celexa vs Lexapro: Which is Better For Depression?

Both are regarded as equally effective drugs for treating depression. Find out the core difference between Celexa vs. Lexpro now!

What is Ativan? Uses, Costs, Benefits, Doses

More than 40 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, making it the most common mental illness in the

Lexapro Overdose: Signs, Symptoms, and Precautions

We’ve put together a list of the signs and symptoms to look out for when it comes to Lexapro overdose and some of the

Panic Attacks: The Story of an Overpowering Fear

Panic attacks are when you experience a sudden feeling of intense fear with no apparent threat or danger.  This triggers a "fight or flight"

Using Lorazepam with Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Using lorazepam with alcohol is incredibly dangerous but can be a common occurrence, and is associated with potentially life-threatening side effects, which are outlined

Using Citalopram with Alcohol: What Are the Risks?

Mixing antidepressants with alcohol is always potentially dangerous, but using citalopram with alcohol is particularly unsafe due to the high potential for life-threatening side

Brightside Health Review: Is This Depression & Anxiety Care Useful?

Brightside is an online mental healthcare company that provides treatment services for a range of issues related to anxiety and depression. These conditions include