What are the foods to avoid when taking Sertraline?

In this blog we will read “Foods to avoid when taking Sertraline”

Is it just me or do you also go through side effects and food interaction and complications a medicine can cause when you consume it?

I guess all of us do that. 

We all tend to check everything available about a medicine on the internet so that we can minimise its side effects as much as possible.

All medicines are basically a composition of different chemicals and these chemicals can react with other compounds present in other medicines which we are consuming or the food we are eating or the drinks we are having and in a way with everything which goes inside our body.

So it becomes important to know which things we should avoid when we are taking a certain medicine. 

In this article we are going to talk about all the foods which need to be avoided in order to not come in contact with side effects or any medical complications which can occur when we are consuming Sertraline.

So, here are the sub headings under which we are going to talk about Sertraline and it’s avoidable food interactions.

What is Sertraline?

Sertraline is the US Food and Drug Administration approved drug which is sold commonly by the name Zoloft and prescribed for medicinal purposes.

It is an antidepressant which is also used for the treatment of Panic attacks, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Anxiety.

It is also used to treat pre- and post menstrual mood swings, irritation, and breast tenderness.


Serotonin is a chemical which is produced in our body. It plays a role in body functions such as influencing memory, mood, and regulates sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting and sexual desire.

Sertraline is a SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) which as its name says inhibits the regulator of Serotonin at nerve endings and thus causes an increased amount of Serotonin in the body.

Why is Sertraline used?

It is used for the treatment of depression, OCD, panic attacks and anxiety.

Symptoms of OCD:

Want things to be done and placed in orderly manner
Can’t tolerate dirt
Unwanted thoughts related to spirituality, sexual desires, aggression

Also Read:

Symptoms of Panic Attack:

Chest pain
Difficulty in breathing

Symptoms of Anxiety:

Feeling nervous
Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
Increased sweating 
Hyperventilation (breathing rapidly)
Feeling weak or tired

Sertraline is used in all these conditions and starts acting within weeks.

Like Wellbutrin, its dose should also not be altered or it should not be discontinued without doctor’s advice.

Side effects of Sertraline

Side effects of Sertraline
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased sweating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Insomnia

Severe side effects:

  • Easy bleeding
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tremor 
  • unusual weight loss
  • Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  • Black stools
  • Eye pain/swelling/redness
  • Blurred vision

Why to keep food interactions in mind?

Whenever we take any medicine, it becomes necessary to avoid consuming anything which can interact with the medicine we are taking because of mainly two reasons which lessen the effect, adverse reactions.

Whenever we are put on a new drug then it is common to have some side effects which usually fade away within a few days or hours but if those  side effects are lasting for a longer duration then it should be taken seriously. 

Many times these side effects are caused by things we are consuming on a daily basis. This happens because these drugs either decrease the effects of the drug or increase the amount of hormone in excess or cause adverse medical reactions which can turn into complications very easily if the food which is causing the problem is not stopped immediately.

Foods to avoid when taking Sertraline

Foods to avoid when taking Sertraline


Whenever we take any medicine it is advised to not consume alcohol. In some cases we can consume little amounts of it but in some cases it is advised to not consume it at all and when taking Sertraline, it is advised to keep alcohol at Bay.

It is prone to increase the severity of side effects and increase the risk of complications in the body.

Caffeinated Beverages

Caffeine is a chemical compound. It is present in all kinds of tea and coffee. 

In my school, I did an experiment which proved that except green tea, all the other teas irrespective of the brand all contain caffeine though in variable amounts. 

This caffeine when interacts with Sertraline causes serious side effects and other medical complications.

High Fat Food

We are aware that high fat content is not good for our body in any case. So when we are taking any medicines like Sertraline, it becomes important to keep a check on the fat content we are consuming because fat-containing food is said to decrease the beneficial effect of Sertraline.

Dairy Products

Dairy products such as milk cheese yoghurt etc contain certain elements which when interacting with medicines then they can cause serious medical complications to the patient. 

When a patient consuming Sertraline takes any dairy product then it decreases the effects of the medicine.


Chocolates are everyone’s favourite. And to tell someone that they can’t eat chocolate or they have to avoid chocolate because of the medicine they are consuming then maybe it will feel like death. 

But chocolate contains several ingredients which can hamper the effect of medicine. 

Chocolate contains magnesium, caffeine coma cocoa which interacts with Sertraline and can cause medical complications. 

As we all know chocolate is said to increase happy hormones in the body, one of them is increased by Sertraline as well, thus it causes an increased amount of the hormone.

Certain Fruits

Whenever a person is unhealthy, I think fruits are the first thing which we give them or tell them to eat or tell them to drink fresh juices so that the person can get healthy sooner and can get nutrients from the fruit.

Certain fruits can cause serious medical complications or decrease the effect of medicine when interacting with Sertraline.

Consumption of grape and grapefruit in the form of drink or as fruit causes increased secretion of Sertraline in the body and when a person takes medicine to increase the amount of sertraline in his body then this combination causes increased levels of sertraline leading to serious complications. 

Other than this fruits like apple pomegranate, cranberries should also be avoided because these fruits also increase the amount of Sertraline in the body. 

Fruits consumed in any form such as whole fruit, fruit concentrates, fruit pulp, fruit extracts, fruit jams, fruit syrups, etc should also be avoided.

Drugs To Avoid When Taking Sertraline

Other than food and drinks there are various drugs which should be strictly avoided in order to prevent side effects and severe medical complications to occur.

Drugs interact with each other and sometimes they can be beneficial but sometimes they can cause harm as well which none of us want so here are some medical conditions in which Sertraline should be avoided and drugs which should be avoided.

Medical Conditions in which Sertraline should be avoided are:

  • Heart Disease
  • Alcoholic Liver Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol Dependence
  • Breastfeeding contraindications

Drugs which should be avoided are:


All this information provided in the article is for informational and preventive purposes. All the food and drink interactions must be discussed and confirmed with the expert/doctor.

Read more:

Dr.Komal Sharma

I am currently pursuing my MBBS degree. My journey into the world of poetry commenced during my 12th-grade years, and over the past seven years, I've passionately crafted hundreds of poems while simultaneously delving into various other creative projects. The decision to embark on a career as a medical writer was both instinctual and astute, allowing me to merge my two distinct passions.

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