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Being in a depressed state of mind can become a chronic mental condition if you keep worrying very frequently. It is a good practice to meet with a doctor to manage such mental problems. Your caregiving team is likely to prescribe meds of the genres 1- serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (in short, SNRIs) or 2- selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting drugs (i.e., SSRIs). In this milieu, sertraline is a widely administered SSRI med. It is prescribed for managing episodes of depression, panic, anxieties, etc. But, do you know the foods to avoid while taking sertraline? It is essential to gather needful inputs on this.

Stressful conditions may make you feel down or depressed. This is considered normal if this occurs once in a while. However, if you catch yourself being sad and down most of the time, it calls for needful medical attention. In medical terms, remaining down and depressed for long is termed as a depression. If you leave it untreated, it may bring down your quality of life as well as your productivity.

In this light, what is sertraline?

Sertraline forms part of a genre of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Your caregiving team is likely to prescribe it to treat mental shifts, anxieties, restlessness, depression, panic, etc. Active ingredients of sertraline help streamline your sleeping patterns, regulate appetite as well as manage your mental wellbeing and moods.

Sertraline can also help with decreasing stimuli to engage in repetitive activities. For instance, this med helps with habits like washing hands very often, checking stuff repeatedly, etc. This med essentially helps strike a fine balance of chemicals present in the brain. These include serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, etc. Collectively, these chemicals are labelled as neuro-transmitters.

Foods to avoid while taking sertraline

The foods you need to avoid while using sertraline include grapefruit (and its juices), foods that contain high levels of tyramine, and some forms of herbs.

Grapefruit and its juices have chemicals in them which decrease the metabolism of sertraline. As a result, intake of this fruit (while using this SSRI med) can lead to an added concentration of this drug in blood. This may further cause a few adverse side effects like nausea, indigestion, discharge of watery stool, etc.

Foods with pronounced presence of tyramine in them include items like aged-cheese, soy-sauce, a few categories of beer as well as wine. Intake of such foods can lead to serotonin toxicity. You can spot this syndrome through a few of its symptoms viz., erratic heartbeats, vomiting and nausea. In some people, intake of such foods with sertraline can cause lapse in coordination, hypertension, hallucination or weird thoughts / dreams.

Herbs like St. John’s wort, kava or valerian may not go well with this SSRI drug. Those who mix these witness adverse side effects like indigestion, diarrhea, etc.

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Can sertraline trigger any undesired side effects?

Those who use sertraline may experience a sudden change (often an increase) in weight. Those who are obese or of excessive weight need to talk to their caregiver prior to using this SSRI med. A few people who used sertraline have also reported of weakness, staying tired and fatigue.

At times, sertraline or similar SSRI drugs can trigger some very adverse outcomes. These include inflammation, breathing conditions like wheezing or gasping. In very remote cases, some users have passed out after taking it. Upon encountering any of these adverse effects, reach out to 911 on a top priority mode i.e., if you are a resident of US. If you are a Canadian resident, call Health Canada as quickly as possible.

Lastly, antidepressant meds such as sertraline must be used under the supervision of a qualified caregiving team. You also must know sertraline is not taken as an over the counter (OTC) drug or through the self-medication mode. You can have more details about foods to avoid while taking sertraline by consulting with a certified caregiver.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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