Does zoloft lower heart rate? (A brief overview) 

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In this blog, we are going to talk about zoloft induced lower heart rate. We will discuss the incidence and factors which might contribute to this side effect. SSRIs are usually considered safe for depressed people with cardiac abnormalities. 

Can zoloft slow down your heart rate? 

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Yes, zoloft can slow down your heart rate, but this side effect is not so common. Some people suffer from zoloft induced heart palpitations in which they complain of unusually fast heartbeats. It indicates that zoloft affects heart rate differently in different individuals. 

What does data from research studies indicate? 

A 2012 study indicated that zoloft has inhibitory effects on ion channels present in your heart. These channels are opened and closed accordingly to let ions pass through. These ions play a major role in cardiac muscle contraction. This indicates that zoloft can slow down the heart rate. 

This study also suggested using zoloft cautiously in patients who already suffer from cardiac ion channel abnormalities or problems associated with arrhythmia. 

Another 2016 study monitored the effects on heart rate of each SSRI individually. The study indicated that sertraline can cause inhibitory effects on cardiac muscle contraction and can slow down the heart rate, but sertraline is still considered safe from cardiac toxicity. 

A 2007 study revealed that zoloft can be used to treat depression in people who suffer from coronary artery diseases and congestive heart failure. In such people, it was seen that depression caused exacerbation of cardiac symptoms. 

They suffered from chest pain, high blood pressure and excessive anxiety, but the use of sertraline significantly toned down these symptoms and provided relief from depression associated cardiac symptoms. 

What could be done to avoid it? 

There is nothing you can do to avoid zoloft induced side effects. They can start within a few hours of taking your first ever dose of zoloft. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if you begin to notice your heart beating slower than usual.

A lot of factors can contribute to it. Make sure you’re eating well and staying active. People who consume limited amounts of calories are more likely to suffer from zoloft induced slow heart rate. 

Calories give you energy which is required for your basic physiological functions. When this energy is insufficient, your entire biological system slows down and you feel lethargic. Therefore, it is extremely important to incorporate healthy wholesome foods in your diet. 

Another major cause of slow heart rate is sedentarism. If you do not lead an active lifestyle, you’re more likely to suffer from zoloft induced slower heart rate. This is because sedentarism weakens your cardiac muscles. 

When these muscles are not subjected to some kind of physical stress, they don’t learn how to work under pressure. This way they become weak over time. 

Make sure you add some kind of fitness workout session in your routine which helps maintain the strength of your cardiac muscles and keep your heart healthy. 

If your med drastically slows down your heart rate, it indicates that either your dose is too high or zoloft is not the right choice of antidepressant for you. No matter the side effects, it is not recommended to stop using your med without your doctor’s approval. 

Zoloft, when stopped abruptly, produces a number of withdrawal symptoms, which can affect your heart health even more. If your treatment needs to be stopped, your doctor will taper you off zoloft gradually. 

Does zoloft lower heart rate? (A brief overview) 

Other causes of slower heart rate 

There are other underlying health conditions that can slow down your heart rate and can contribute to zoloft associated side effects. These include:

  • Heart injury or damage can slow down the work efficiency of your heart, thus resulting in slow heart rate. 
  • High doses of antihypertensive can result in decreasing heart rate. 
  • Any birth defect in cardiac muscles can decrease the ability of your heart to beat faster. 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Low blood glucose level
  • Chemical imbalance can make a huge impact as elements like sodium, potassium and calcium play a major role in cardiac muscle contraction. 
  • Inflammation of heart muscles

Other medications that can slow down your heart rate even more if used with zoloft

Concomitant use of some medications can make your heart rate even slower. These include:

Anti-anxiety medications 

These meds are commonly known as CNS depressants, which mimic the actions of inhibitory neurotransmitters. These agents can also slow down your heart rate. 

Anxiolytics are, in fact, prescribed to lower down the heart rate associated with extreme anxiety or agitation. Make sure you’re not taking such meds concomitantly with zoloft. 

Beta blockers

Beta blockers are usually prescribed in case of high blood pressure or blood pressure management after coronary artery diseases. This drug can slow your heart down to decrease your heart workload. 

If you’re a hypertensive patient and you’re taking a beta blocker with zoloft, it might make you suffer from feelings of sinking-heart by dangerously lowering your heart rate. 

Make sure you talk to your doctor, who might adjust the dose if it’s necessary to use these two drugs together. 

ACE inhibitors 

These meds are also used to tone down high blood pressure. ACE inhibitors are vasodilators, which means they widen your arteries to help relieve the pressure of blood and decrease your heart load. Use these meds only when prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

Diuretics

Diuretics are used to remove excess water along with sodium from our body. These agents can reduce blood volume and can cause your blood pressure to fall down. This slows down your heart rate. Make sure you use zoloft along with diuretics only when prescribed by your doctor. 

It is important to mention here that self-medication is a self-harming process. It is okay to take OTC meds when you’re not on any prescription medication, but if you are, you should ask your doctor if it’s okay to use the two drugs together. 

Always make sure your medicines are compatible with one another. Drug interactions are often neglected, but they can cause severe side effects if not considered properly. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we discussed zoloft induced lower heart rate. Several studies have suggested that zoloft can have an inhibitory effect on ion channels present in your heart. This can result in slower heart rate. 

A lot of researchers have approved the treatment of depression with zoloft in people suffering from coronary artery diseases and congestive heart failure. Zoloft is known for many side effects but these unwanted side effects are not meant to stay. 

As soon as your body adjusts to the new med, your side effects begin to fade away on their own. This process usually takes 4 to 5 weeks, but can vary due to a number of reasons. The dose of zoloft also plays an important role. 

Lower doses don’t produce extreme side effects unless the one taking it is allergic or can’t tolerate zoloft at all. It is the higher doses which are to be concerned about. 

FAQs: Does zoloft lower heart rate 

Does Zoloft reduce heart rate?

Zoloft can slow down cardiac muscle contraction, thus causing lower heart rate. This side effect varies from person to person. Some people do not experience any such side effects at all. It’s hard to predict how zoloft would affect you as side effects depend on how your body will react once it is exposed to zoloft. 

Does sertraline affect heart rate?

Yes, sertraline can affect your heart rate. It can cause palpitations or feeling like your heart racing in your chest. In some people it can cause arrhythmia and can lower heart rate. It might cause elongation of the QT interval in long term users. 

Should I be concerned about low heart rate? 

Low heart rate is not an alarming sign if you’re at rest or you haven’t eaten anything. When we don’t have enough food in our body, it’s normal for our heart rate to slow down. 

If your bradycardia (slow heart rate) persists even after you’ve eaten, you’re well hydrated and are active, this can indicate some underlying condition that might be slowing your heart down. 

Why is my resting heart rate decreasing?

  • Heart injury or damage can slow down the work efficiency of your heart, thus resulting in slow heart rate. 
  • Malnutrition or very low intake of calories can slow down your resting heart rate. 
  • High doses of antihypertensive can result in decreasing heart rate. 
  • Any birth defect in cardiac muscles can decrease the ability of your heart to beat faster. 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Low blood glucose level
  • Chemical imbalance can make a huge impact as elements like sodium, potassium and calcium play a major role in cardiac muscle contraction. 
  • Inflammation of heart muscles
  • Certain medications. 

Is it better to take Zoloft in the morning or at night?

Zoloft should be taken once a day, either at night or in the morning. The timing at which you take your zoloft has a close relationship with your side effects. If zoloft makes you nauseous, sleepy, dizzy, or tired, it is best to take your med at night. If it causes insomnia, poor sleep quality or loss of libido, it is best to take zoloft in the morning. 

What are the most common side effects of Zoloft?

most common side effects include loss of appetite, tiredness, feeling angry or agitated, weight gain, inability to digest food, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of libido, sweating/night sweats, tremors or shaking, insomnia, decreased sex drive, impotence, inability to ejaculate etc.

Serious side effects include seizure or convulsions, eye pain with vision problems, extreme headache, confusion, memory problems or dementia, severe weakness and inability to move etc. 

References 

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