Can zoloft make your breasts bigger? (A myth or truth?)
In this blog post, we are going to talk about zoloft induced breast enlargement in the light of research studies. Many people, yes women as well as men, have reported this side effect. Let’s dig a little deeper and see how can zoloft be responsible for making your breasts bigger.
Can zoloft make your breasts bigger?
A survey has revealed that zoloft can make your breasts bigger. It is a side effect reported by 1-2% of the population taking zoloft. At first, this side effect was believed to exist only in women older than 55 years of age. Later it was reported by younger women, as well as some men.
Some women have reported that they were absolutely normal with the use of zoloft for about a year, but when the treatment was continued, they observed their breasts getting bigger and bigger by the day.
This indicates that breast enlargement is common in case of long-term use of zoloft. One zoloft user reported that she noticed no such side effect during the course of 17 years of her treatment, but when she started tapering off, that’s where things started to go south.
She experienced unexplainable withdrawal symptoms, including rapid weight gain and massive breast enlargement. Some men have reported this side effect as well.
One zoloft user revealed that he had been taking zoloft for 3 months and that’s when he began to notice something that we call ‘man-boobs’.
It is quite a disturbing condition for a man and can cause social complications. These multiple cases show the occurrence of breast enlargement after different time durations.
Some people begin to see it just after months, some see it after a year or two, some notice it after more than 5 years and some end up experiencing breast enlargement when they’re trying to taper off the drug after years and years of treatment.
What does research suggest?
A 1997 study monitored the effects of zoloft on breasts and mammary glands. The study included 70 women receiving zoloft for the course of 2 months. The study concluded that 37 out of 70 women showed signs of breast enlargement. That’s more than 50% of the test population.
In another 2011 research study, the effects of sertraline 200 mg/day were monitored. The drug was given to help relieve the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It was seen that sertraline indeed caused breast enlargement in women test volunteers.
One thing to note here is that this study also included 5 mg of olanzapine, which is an atypical antipsychotic agent. In such a situation, drug interaction can also be blamed. The concomitant use of drugs can give rise to a number of additional side effects that are often neglected.
It is extremely important to rule out any possible drug interactions between your prescription medications. If you feel it is hard to tolerate two or more drugs together, immediately reach out to your healthcare provider.
Not just breast enlargement, several research studies also indicate zoloft induced galactorrhea. It is a condition associated with abnormal milky discharge from the nipples.
One research suggested that zoloft has an impact on dopamine pathways, which are responsible for a number of physiological and psychological functions. This impact may cause breast enlargement and galactorrhea.
What could be done to avoid it?
There’s nothing you can do to avoid zoloft induced side effects. They come and go on their own. Your breasts may start to reduce in size after a few weeks of treatment continuation, but this is not certain.
Some people experience this because of weight gain, which is one of the most common side effects of zoloft. They don’t just have bigger breasts but also have excess belly, hip, face and thigh fat.
The first thing’s first, talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you start noticing your breasts getting larger in size. Your doctor might take your dose down a notch to help your body adjust to the drug better and then increase the dose again.
Most commonly zoloft takes time to produce positive effects and stop producing negative ones. As antidepressants are required to be taken for a relatively longer period of time, you can never be certain what kind of side effect you will suffer from after a few more months of treatment.
There are a few things you can try to help relieve the side effects and make your zoloft journey a little better. These include:
Try targeted breast reduction workouts
There are plenty of effective workouts out there to help reduce your excess breast fat. Targeted exercise works specifically in the affected area and targets the muscles present there.
The muscles, when they are worked, become much stronger and start melting the excess fat around them. This can help tone down your breasts. Try some beginner workouts if you’re new to exercises.
You will definitely start seeing changes after a few weeks. Make sure you stay consistent and do such exercises at least 3-4 times a week.
Maintain a healthy weight
If your breast enlargement is solely because of your weight gain then maintaining a healthy weight can help you big time. Add healthy foods to your diet which boost your energy levels and keep you moving throughout the day.
High amounts of fat can have a negative impact on your breasts all on its own. Studies suggest that there is a close relationship between high body fat and risk of breast cancer. Make sure you maintain a healthy weight.
Never skip breakfast
Breakfast is an extremely important meal of the day. Do not skip breakfast. Add protein rich foods like eggs, as proteins are the building blocks of your body. They provide the right amount of fuel you need to start your day.
Do not overeat
Overeating is the key to gaining weight. Stuffing up your stomach to the point where you can no longer breathe is terrible for your health. Eat everything, but in small proportions. This way you can enjoy your favourite foods without harming yourself.
Avoid eating sugar and refined carbs
It’s nothing new to know that you need to cut back on sugar, if you wish to lose weight. Again, don’t quit eating your favourite desserts, but don’t make them a part of your routine.
If you crave something sweet, go for a piece of dark chocolate. It actually has health benefits. But again, portion size matters a lot. Anything that’s good for you will end up harming you if you consume too much of it.
Make sure you’re well hydrated
Drink plenty of water. Water clears out toxins from your body. Try making a detox water by adding your favourite fruits in it. You can add lemon, cucumber, kiwi, oranges, berries, ginger etc, to make drinking water less boring.
This will not only add taste, but also makes your water nutritious and full of antioxidants. Not just this, water also gives you energy and maintains your blood volume.
Make sure you have a good sleep pattern
Experts suggest that inadequate sleep is responsible for slowing down your metabolism. When your metabolism doesn’t work as efficiently as it should, the ensued energy is converted into fats.
In addition, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol, which also accelerate the fat storing process.
In this blog post, we discussed zoloft induced bigger breasts. After gathering data from various research articles, we can easily come up with a conclusion that zoloft can indeed make your breasts bigger. It is a side effect reported by 1-2% of the population taking zoloft.
At first, this side effect was believed to exist only in women older than 55 years of age. Later it was reported by younger women, as well as some men.
Not just this, zoloft has also been found associated with galactorrhea, which is a condition in which there is unusual milky discharge from the nipples. This is probably because of the fact that zoloft can affect dopamine pathways.
Some studies have correlated breast enlargement with zoloft induced weight gain. It is common to have bigger boobs when you gain a few pounds. Weight gain is quite common among people taking antidepressants.
If your bigger breasts are because of gaining weight, you try doing targeted breast reduction workouts. They can help you melt down that extra layer of fat that makes your breasts look bulky. You can also opt for a healthy lifestyle and eating pattern.
FAQs: zoloft making breasts bigger
Can sertraline cause breast growth?
Yes, sertraline can cause breast growth and overall weight gain. It can also cause galactorrhea, which is a condition in which there is unusual milky discharge from the nipples, which is not a normal part of the breastfeeding process.
Which antidepressants cause breast enlargement?
Following antidepressants can cause breast enlargement:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including sertraline (zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac) etc.
- Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), including venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) etc.
- An atypical antidepressant mirtazapine (Remeron)
Do you gain weight on sertraline?
Sertraline is known to increase appetite in some people and spike their sugar cravings. This results in weight gain. It can also retain some water and can increase water weight as well. For some people it decreases their appetite and they lose.
What drugs cause breast enlargement?
Following drugs can cause breast enlargement:
- Antihypertensives or drugs to lower blood pressure
- Antivirals or drugs to treat viral infections
- Hormonal drugs
- Antiparasitics or drugs to treat parasitic infections
- Few cardiovascular drugs
What should you not take with Zoloft?
You should not take the following with zoloft:
- Monoaminoxidase inhibitors. The concomitant use increases the risk of serotonin syndrome.
- Tryptophan rich foods.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The combination can increase the risk of bleeding
Can I Lose Weight on Zoloft?
Yes, you can try losing weight on zoloft by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying active. Try adding wholesome foods to your diet which can help you lose those extra pounds and boost your energy levels.
- J D Amsterdam et al. J Affect Disord. (1997) – Breast enlargement during chronic antidepressant therapy https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9479619/
- Samir Kumar Praharaj (2011) – Hyperprolactinemia and breast enlargement with serotonin reuptake inhibitor and olanzapine combination https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229802/#__ffn_sectitle
- Eylem ÖZTEN, Gökben HIZLI SAYAR, and Mehmet Emin CEYLAN (2015) – Sertraline Induced Galactorrhea https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353200/#__ffn_sectitle
- Naresh Nebhinani. Gen Hosp Psychiatry (2013) – Sertraline-induced galactorrhea: case report and review of cases reported with other SSRIs https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23260337/
- Zoloft and Breast enlargement – a phase IV clinical study of FDA data https://www.ehealthme.com/ds/zoloft/breast-enlargement/
- A depression and mental health social community support group – Depression forum – https://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/45918-breast-growth-s/