Does zoloft cause inability to release? (A troublesome side effect)

In this blog, we are going to talk about zoloft induced sexual issues like difficulty in release. Zoloft, is an antidepressant, which is associated with a lot of side effects, one of which include sexual side effects. 

This blog will cover the incidence of these side effects and what could be done to help prevent them. 

Does zoloft cause inability to release? 

Zoloft is associated with multiple sexual side effects, one of which include inability to release. 2 out of 10 men using zoloft have reported this side effect and the psychological difficulties that come with it. Researchers are still looking for ways to help prevent zoloft induced inability to release. 

What does research suggest? 

A 2002 article studied the data from various research projects and came to the conclusion that 30 to 60% of men taking zoloft or other SSRIs go through some kind of sexual side effect throughout the course of their treatment. 

Another study monitored the effects of all classes of antidepressants on sexual functions. The study concluded that SSRIs and SNRIs are more commonly associated with sexual side effects as compared to other classes of antidepressants. 

One more comparative study indicated that men are more susceptible to sexual side effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as compared to females. 

The loss of desire or libido was common in women, but men were found to have much more pronounced effects including difficulty to have an erection and inability to release. 

A 1995 study observed 32 male case studies and observed sexual changes at some point during the course of their treatment with antidepressants, mainly SSRIs, as this class is the most common class of antidepressants associated with sexual side effects. 

Another 2009 study indicated that both depression and antidepressants are associated with sexual side effects in men, including loss of libido, difficulty in having an erection or inability to release. The incidence of these side effects can vary from person to person. 

Some men experience pronounced effects, while others get away with mild sexual issues. The side effect also depends on the dose and the duration of treatment. Prolonged treatment or high dose can make you more susceptible to develop a variety of zoloft induced side effects. 

What could be done? 

There are a few things you can do to help with your inability to release. These include:

Talk to your doctor 

Ask your healthcare provider if the side effects you’re suffering from are normal. Most side effects begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. Some people might take longer, but eventually the side effects fade away. 

If your side effect persists and if you feel it being worse, instead of getting better, immediately reach out to your doctor and make sure if your dose is not too high. 

If the dose is appropriate according to your condition but your inability to release persists and is disrupting your normal life, then it simply means that zoloft is not the right choice of antidepressant for you.

Take your zoloft early in the morning

If you suffer from zoloft induced inability to release, it’s best to take your med early in the morning. Studies suggest that you can counteract sexual side effects by taking antidepressant after the time you usually spend being sexually active. 

This means that you can take zoloft early in the morning which can help you to avoid sexual side effects by night. 


Psychotherapy or psychological therapy can help you talk about your sexual side effects and let out how it makes you feel mentally. 

A sex therapist, who’s specifically trained psychologist to help address the sexual issues, can guide you throught this difficult time and help you overcome this side effect.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being obese and overweight make everything much more worse. Studies suggest that men who are overweight are more likely to suffer sexual issues, either medication induced or caused by some underlying health condition. 

Make sure you maintain a healthy weight and add wholesome nutritious foods to your diet. 


Exercises are one of the best ways to relax your muscles. Pelvic exercises might help relieve the problems associated with the sexual side effects of zoloft. Staying active keeps you healthy in general and makes your muscles and bones strong and relaxed. 

Make sure you have enough zinc

Studies suggest that zinc deficiency can link to more sexual side effects, as compared to men who have sufficient amount of zinc. Make sure you check how deficient you are, if you’re deficient at all.

Minor deficiencies can be handled with food, but in case of severe deficiency, supplements are required. Natural sources of zinc include:

  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Yoghurt
  • Pump seeds 
  • Cashews 
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Beef
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Sesame 
  • Oats 
  • Dairy products 
  • Beans
  • Crab

Add magnesium to your diet 

Magnesium also plays an important role in your sexual health. It has an impact on muscles which contract and relax during the process of release. Make sure you’re not magnesium deficient and add magnesium rich foods in your diet. These include:

  • Bananas
  • Spinach 
  • Avocado 
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Almonds 
  • Cashews 
  • Seeds 
  • Salmon
  • Kidney beans
  • Peanuts and peanut butter 
  • Yoghurt

When to talk to your doctor 

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if:

  • Your inability to release exist even after months of treatment 
  • You suffer from painful urination or urinary retention 
  • You feel extreme pain or pressure in your genitals. 
  • Your mental health is starting to deteriorate instead of getting better
  • Your muscles ache and you find movement difficult. 

Zoloft induced side effects usually begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment, but if they don’t, it is extremely important to inform your doctor. 

If zoloft is causing more harm than benefits, there’s no point in using it for a long period of time. It might cause permanent damage. Your doctor may taper you off zoloft and start another safer antidepressant in a lowest effective dose.

Other side effects of zoloft 

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling angry or agitated
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to digest food
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of libido
  • Sweating/Night sweats
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence
  • Inability to release

Zoloft, sometimes, causes serious side effects. Consult your healthcare provider as soon as you can if these symptoms occur:

  • Seizure/convulsions
  • Eye pain with vision problems
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Memory problems/Dementia 
  • Severe weakness and inability to move
  • The inability to have an erection
  • Hypothyroidism (low thyroid gland function)
  • Bone marrow failure associated with low blood counts
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Neutropenia 
  • Abnormal behaviour/mania 
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling guilty all the time
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms
  • Allergic reaction 
  • It could cause low sodium levels which can result in psychological symptoms like confusion, agitation, inability to understand surroundings, memory loss etc.
  • It can cause elongation of QT interval, causing increased heartbeat or arrhythmia


In this blog, we talked about zoloft induced inability to release. Zoloft, an antidepressant, is well known for causing sexual side effects. Studies have revealed that these side effects are more common in men as compared to women, who only suffer from loss of libido. 

Men, on the other hand, are subjected to more severr sexual side effects including difficulty in having an erection and inability to release. 

Studies further suggest that these side effects are more common in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as compared to any other class of antidepressants. 

Experts believe that taking your medjcation early in the morning can help tone down these side effects by night, when people usually engage in sexual activities. Taking it at night can cause mental pressure followed by these side effects. 

Make sure you have sufficient zinc and magnesium in your body as these side effects are found more common in men who are deficient in these minerals. 

FAQs: Can’t release on zoloft 

Can Zoloft cause a man not to release?

Yes, zoloft can cause secual side effects in men, including inability to release or painful release. difficulty in having an erection and loss of sexual desire. 

Why do I have difficulty releasing on SSRI?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) treat depression by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT) and inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin. This can make an impact on other chemicals and hormones as well, which include dopamine and testosterone. 

How do you fix erectile dysfunction from Zoloft?

Zoloft induced side effects are usually temporary and start to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. If your side effects persist, your healthcare provider might reduce your dose. If it still doesn’t get better, you might need to stop using zoloft. 

Does Zoloft have immediate effects?

No. Zoloft, or any other antidepressant, does not show results overnight. It usually takes 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the severity of your disease and your physiological makeup. As stated earlier, the time taken by zoloft to work varies from person to person. 

How do I know Zoloft is working?

The simple answer: When your symptoms start to subside. Depression is commonly associated with feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness, irritability or frustration, even over small matters. 

You simply feel relieved from above mentioned symptoms. When you feel happy and satisfied, when you feel like engaging in your favourite activities and when you start feeling like being a part of your social gatherings again, you know your medicine is working. 

How long does it take to feel the effects of Zoloft? 

Zoloft usually starts to produce its effects in 3 to 4 weeks. Noticeable and much significant effects can be seen after 12 weeks of continuous treatment. Zoloft might make you feel worse before you feel better. 

This is because it starts causing different kinds of side effects before it actually starts to cause beneficial effects. Make sure you take your medication daily and as directed by your healthcare provider. 

Do not deviate from it or follow non-adherence. It is not advised to stop your treatment halfway. 


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