What to do if Zoloft causes itching? (3+ allergy symptoms)

If you’re experiencing itching after taking Zoloft (sertraline), it is important to seek medical attention and rule out the possibility of an allergic reaction. This is crucial for people who are trying Zoloft out for the very first time. 

Although allergic reactions to antidepressants are not common, and most people avoid these meds because of potential side effects, some people could be allergic to these meds, and itching could be a sign of it. 

So, if you’re new to Zoloft, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention to determine whether it’s safe for you to continue using Zoloft or not. For new users who are allergic to Zoloft, they can stop taking the medication right away to prevent further damage. 

Zoloft takes 4-6 weeks to work, and your body can take months to adjust to it properly (1,2). So, new users shouldn’t worry about withdrawal symptoms, as taking a dose or two of any medication whatsoever does not make your body dependent on it. 

However, it’s best to talk to your doctor about your side effects to ensure the safe and effective use of Zoloft.

What are some other symptoms of an allergic reaction to Zoloft?

The typical signs and symptoms associated with an allergic reaction to sertraline include: (2,3)

SymptomCommon or Rare
Rash or hivesCommon
Itching Common
Swelling of the face or tongueLess common 
Severe dizzinessLess common
Difficulty breathingLess common
Unexplained feverRare 
Yellowing of eyes or skin (jaundice)Rare 
Unusual bleeding or bruisingRare 
Dark urineRare 
Persistent nausea or vomitingRare 

These symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the dose of Zoloft you have consumed and how sensitive your body is to this antidepressant. 

However, it is important to note that these signs and symptoms should be reported promptly, as an allergic reaction can harm you and should be managed immediately.

Can itching be a non-allergic side effect of Zoloft?

Itching could be a non-allergic side effect of Zoloft in some individuals. Although it is not commonly reported and is not listed as a common side effects associated with Zoloft, some people could develop itching as a non-allergic side effect. 

However, it should still be ruled out. Research suggests that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft can cause cutaneous side effects such as eczema, bruising, pruritus, acne, etc (4). 

Research also shows that these medications can sometimes cause dangerous cutaneous or skin-related side effects such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, etc (4). 

So, while it might not be common for Zoloft to cause itching randomly, it is a possibility – but, as stated earlier, you should get it checked. Even if it’s not an allergy symptom, it could be a symptom of a bigger problem.

Zoloft and cutaneous side effects 

In my experience as a pharmacist, I have not seen many cases of Zoloft-induced itching that are not associated with Zoloft allergy. Allergic reactions might not be so severe for some people, and they may only experience rash and itching. 

However, allergic reactions with unusual symptoms are rarely reported, and patient-specific factors can influence these reactions. This is why most doctors prescribe Zoloft and other antidepressants at the lowest effective dose. This approach helps introduce Zoloft into your body in the safest way possible. 

The dose can later be increased if your body tolerates it well and adjusts to it. Allergic reactions are easier to manage when lower doses are consumed compared to high doses, which can cause more pronounced effects. 

So, I recommend sticking to your treatment plan as properly as you can. If anything concerns you, reach out to your doctor.


  1. Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. 2023 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613469. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547689
  1. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ZOLOFT (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/019839s74s86s87_20990s35s44s45lbl.pdf
  1. National Library of Medicine. Sertraline: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a697048.html 
  1. Krasowska D, Szymanek M, Schwartz RA, Myśliński W. Cutaneous effects of the most commonly used antidepressant medication, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 May;56(5):848-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2006.10.020. Epub 2006 Dec 4. PMID: 17147971. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17147971/ 

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