How to make Zoloft more effective? (5 proven ways)

You can increase the effectiveness of Zoloft in the following ways:

  • Consider psychotherapy
  • Keep stress at bay
  • Incorporate fitness into your life
  • Eat nutritious foods
  • Avoid consuming alcohol

Consider psychotherapy

Psychotherapy or behavioural therapy is a non-pharmacological approach to managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and several other mental health conditions. (1)

When combined with a suitable antidepressant, psychotherapy promotes your mental health recovery by helping you find a positive way of processing your emotions. It also reshapes your behavioural patterns, and you overall deal with your symptoms more positively. 

Psychotherapies are usually one-on-one therapies where you sit with a qualified healthcare professional who hears you out and helps you generate positive responses to potential triggers. This, combined with Zoloft, can make it easy for your antidepressant to work by directly managing your symptoms.

Keep stress at bay

It is also important to manage your stress levels to promote the effectiveness of Zoloft. A stressful lifestyle and constant triggers that make you depressed or anxious can slow down the beneficial activity of the antidepressant. It is a known fact that the more obstacles you have, the harder your path becomes. 

Now, no one can eliminate stress from their lives – as we have so many things to deal with like work, financial responsibilities, social life, relationships, etc. These things may not always go smoothly, which can affect one’s mental health. 

So, it’s best to take some time out for yourself and engage in stress-reducing activities that help you relax. This can help your symptoms and promote the beneficial effects of Zoloft.

Incorporate exercise into your routine

Incorporating fitness into your life and exercising is often neglected, and people fail to understand the importance of staying active. Most people know that exercising helps you lose weight and keeps you fit. 

However, it does much more than that. Exercising promotes your physiological well-being and improves your mood by releasing happy chemicals in your brain (2). These chemicals enhance your mental health and strengthen your brain. 

This, when followed persistently, can improve the quality of your physical and mental health and can help you regulate your emotions in better, more constructive ways. It can even manage major depressive disorder (MDD). (3)

You don’t have to exercise vigorously to make this thing work. Just follow your own pace and see what works for you. 

If you’re a beginner, you can start with walking. A good workout regimen should have all sorts of physical activities, including recovery days where you relax and enjoy your favourite comfort foods. An example of such a regimen includes:

Day Exercise typeDuration Notes 
Monday Brisk walking or jogging30 minutesStart the week with cardiovascular exercise.
Tuesday Strength training (body weight or light dumbbells)20 minutesFocus on bodyweight exercises for muscle engagement.
Wednesday Rest or light activityAllow your body to recover.
Thursday Yoga or pilates30 minutesEnhance flexibility and mindfulness.
Friday High-intensity interval training15 minutesShort bursts of intense activity for metabolic boost.
Saturday Outdoor activities (hiking, etc.)30 minutesEnjoy nature while being physically active.
Sunday Rest or mindful walkingRelaxation or gentle activity like a mindful walk.

Eat nutritious foods

“You are what you eat” – there’s a reason why they say that. Your diet has a lot to do with your physical and mental health, and you should provide your body with nutritious foods. Some examples of things that can help you with mental health recovery are: (4)

  • Fatty Fish (e.g., salmon, trout, sardines)
  • Berries (e.g., blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, cashews)
  • Whole Grains (e.g., brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread)
  • Leafy Greens (e.g., spinach, kale)
  • Turmeric
  • Eggs
  • Oranges
  • Yoghurt
  • Legumes (e.g., beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • Lean Proteins (e.g., chicken, turkey, lean beef)
  • Seaweed

Maintaining a healthy diet can complement the effects of Zoloft, as good food can help your body heal, boost your immune system, improve your energy levels, and promote overall physical and mental health.

There are all sorts of diet plans out there – keto, paleo, and whatnot – and a lot of these diets do help people. However, you should never deprive your body of anything. Nature has blessed us with foods so that we can enjoy them. 

So, keeping a dangerously low-carb diet or anything of the sort is not healthy and is not a sustainable option. You should eat everything! Just find the right balance and make sure you do not eat anything excessively. Once you learn what portion control is, your life will become a lot easier.

Avoid consuming alcohol

If you wish to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of your Zoloft, avoid the use of alcohol. Drinking alcohol with antidepressants has its fair share of risks and can hinder your mental health recovery. 

This is because alcohol is a CNS depressant and produces an opposite response to Zoloft, which is an antidepressant (5). If you do not cut back on alcohol, your depression may not improve, you might experience more pronounced side effects, and suicidal thoughts may persist. 

If you want to recover from your depression and make the most out of your antidepressant, it’s advisable to avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Occasionally drinking a glass or two won’t harm you, but excessive use should be avoided.

Is clinical augmentation of Zoloft therapy effective?

Clinical augmentation of antidepressant therapy is another way to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of your antidepressant treatment (6). Zoloft can be paired with other antidepressants or mood stabilisers if monotherapy fails to manage your symptoms. 

However, antidepressant combinations should be carefully determined, as not everyone can tolerate such combinations. If you think your Zoloft is not working well enough, please reach out to your doctor. Do not make any changes to your prescription on your own.

Enhancing the effects of your antidepressant

In my experience as a pharmacist, I have seen psychotherapy doing wonders with Zoloft monotherapy. This non-pharmacological approach can manage your symptoms safely and effectively, as not everyone can tolerate antidepressant combination treatments. 

So, make sure you talk to your doctor about psychotherapy and learn new, constructive ways to manage your emotions.


  1. National Institute of Mental Health (NIH). Psychotherapies. Available from: 
  1. Mahindru A, Patil P, Agrawal V. Role of Physical Activity on Mental Health and Well-Being: A Review. Cureus. 2023 Jan 7;15(1):e33475. doi: 10.7759/cureus.33475. PMID: 36756008; PMCID: PMC9902068. 
  1. Belvederi Murri M, Ekkekakis P, Magagnoli M, Zampogna D, Cattedra S, Capobianco L, Serafini G, Calcagno P, Zanetidou S, Amore M. Physical Exercise in Major Depression: Reducing the Mortality Gap While Improving Clinical Outcomes. Front Psychiatry. 2019 Jan 10;9:762. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00762. PMID: 30687141; PMCID: PMC6335323. 
  1. Lachance L, Ramsey D. Food, mood, and brain health: implications for the modern clinician. Mo Med. 2015 Mar-Apr;112(2):111-5. PMID: 25958655; PMCID: PMC6170050.,easily%20be%20integrated%20into%20health 
  1. Mukherjee S. Alcoholism and its effects on the central nervous system. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2013 Aug;10(3):256-62. doi: 10.2174/15672026113109990004. PMID: 23713737. 
  1. Moret C. Combination/augmentation strategies for improving the treatment of depression. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2005 Dec;1(4):301-9. PMID: 18568111; PMCID: PMC2424118. 

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