In this, we are going to talk about zoloft induced body aches. Zoloft is well known for the side effects it produces, one of which is body pain. This blog will cover everything there is to know about zoloft induced body pain and how you can get rid of it
Does zoloft cause body ache?
Zoloft is associated with body ache by causing pressure in your muscles and bones. Many people have reported pain just after a few hours of starting zoloft. Back pain is also common among zoloft induced body pains.
Zoloft induced body aches should go away on their own within 3 to 4 weeks of treatment. This time duration varies from person to person. Some people stop experiencing body aches after a few weeks, while others take much longer to recover. Make sure you discuss your side effects with your doctor.
What does research say?
Several research studies suggest that zoloft is associated with pain in your back, shoulders, upper and lower limbs, and head etc. The effect is considered common with variable intensities.
Some people experienced pain so severe that they had to discontinue the treatment, while others found it manageable and continued with their treatment.
A 2021 study concluded that zoloft is associated with bone deterioration over time. It can decrease bone density and can weaken the joints which could be the cause of pain. It could create problems like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in women.
Another study concluded that zoloft can cause muscle tension and stiffness which could contribute to your body aches. Stiff muscles are hard to move as they have lost their flexibility.
This results in pain when you use them. Similarly, muscle tension can also put pressure on your muscles and you feel pain in them. Another study revealed a terrible rare side effect of zoloft.
In 2016, a case study indicated the presence of rhabdomyolysis, caused by zoloft. It is a condition associated with severe muscle damage and breakdown.
The patient was presented with excruciating body pain and was on high dose zoloft for the past fews to help relieve the symptoms of her depression.
This study concluded that zoloft in combination with heinous exercise caused rhabdomyolysis in the 25-year old patient. Several other similar cases have also been reported.
What could be done?
Zoloft induced side effects usually begin to subside on their own. Make sure you give your body enough time to adjust to the medication. Meanwhile, there are a few things you can do to help relieve your body aches. These include:
Over-the-counter pain relief medications
If your pain is severe and is causing serious discomfort, you can take OTC pain relief medication. It is advised to ask your doctor first before you take any medication. OTC painkillers include paracetamol (acetaminophen) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Paracetamol is safe to take along with zoloft, but NSAIDs should be used cautiously and only if approved by your doctor. Concomitant use of these two can lead to high risk of bleeding.
Yes, vigorous exercise can harm your muscles, especially when they are already compromised, but sedentarism can contribute to your body pain. People who go on complete bed rest without it being necessary find it extremely difficult to recover from their body aches.
Muscles are meant to be moved. Stay active, one way or another. High intensity workouts are not necessary to stay active. There’s a whole bunch of low intensity workouts like yoga or walking. If not this, go clean your house but don’t sit still.
Stretch those muscles
Stretching is extremely important to help those muscles breathe. It also provides relief when you’re in pain. You can try hamstring stretch, tricep stretch, quad stretch, neck stretch etc.
It’s okay if you’re a beginner and you don’t do this much, you can simply search for beginner’s stretching moves online and get going.
Use natural muscle relaxants
There are plenty of natural muscle relaxants that you can use to help relax those muscles without taking any medication for it. These include:
- Chamomile tea is best known for relaxing your muscles and making it easier for you to fall asleep. You can also try massaging with chamomile essential oil which can provide relief to your affected muscles
- A study shows that eating Blueberries can help facilitate the recovery of affected muscles. It also reduces muscle pain.
- Consuming cherries is another delicious way to get rid of muscle pain.
- Add vitamin D rich foods in your diet, like oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks etc.
- Magnesium is an important mineral for muscle health. Common sources of magnesium include legumes, bananas, rice, almonds etc.
Pay attention to your bone health
As discussed earlier, studies have revealed that zoloft can decrease bone mass with long term treatment, it is important for you to look for ways to strengthen your bones. Following are a few things you can do to enhance your bone health:
- Make sure you have enough calcium in your body. Calcium is an essential mineral for your bone and muscle health. Common sources of calcium include milk and other dairy foods, rice and almond milk, soy milk, fortified orange juice and salmon etc.
- Vitamin D is also extremely important for your bone health. If you don’t have enough vitamin D in your system, you will not be able to absorb the calcium in your bones. These two minerals go hand in hand and work together to strengthen your bones.
- Phosphorus is also an important mineral for bone health. It helps in bone repair and formation of new bone cells.
- Again, sedentarism can really damage your bone health. Skeletal system is designed to be moved. Your bones stay healthy when you keep using them. Staying inactive will cause them to waste away.
Avoid illicit substances and alcohol
Make sure you avoid using alcohol or illicit substances when you suffer from medication induced side effects. These substances can make your side effects even worse.
Talk to your doctor
It is extremely important to tell your doctor about your side effects. If your body pain is severe, do not sit around for it to go away on its own.
Your healthcare provider will rule out any muscle or bone damage that might become more problematic in the long run, as the treatment with antidepressants last several months, or even years for some patients.
If your zoloft is deteriorating your bone or muscle health rapidly, it is not considered safe to keep using it. Your doctor might lower the dose or start tapering you off zoloft.
In this blog, we discussed zoloft induced body aches. The possible cause of zoloft behaving this way is its ability to cause muscle tension, stiffness and bone damage. It is advised to always consult your doctor when you suffer from zoloft induced side effects.
It is not recommended to start managing your side effects on your own. Even over-the-counter agents should be approved by your doctor first as some of them have potential to react with zoloft. In case of body pain and stiffness, you can try a few methods we have discussed to help relieve the pain.
You can stretch, use natural muscle relaxants, try to avoid sedentarism and can add wholesome foods to your diet to enhance your muscle and bone health. Some people with zoloft body aches could not recover from this side effect which resulted in discontinuation of treatment.
FAQs: zoloft body aches
Can sertraline cause aches and pains?
Yes, sertraline can cause aches and pains including abdominal pain, back pain, muscle aches, joint pain etc.
Can antidepressants make your back hurt?
Yes, antidepressants can make your back hurt. Studies suggest that long term use of antidepressants can decrease bone mass and can weaken them.
Is muscle pain a side effect of Zoloft?
Yes, muscle pain is a side effect of zoloft, along with muscle tension and stiffness.
Can sertraline cause permanent damage?
It depends on the duration of your treatment. People with mild depression start getting better within a few months and usually start tapering off zoloft. People with long term treatment are at risk of zoloft causing permanent changes in their system.
An example of this damage is bone health. Studies revealed that long term use of zoloft can cause irreversible bone damage by decreasing bone mass. It could result in lifelong conditions like osteoporosis or osteoarthritis in women.
Is 100mg of Zoloft a lot?
100 mg zoloft is higher than the most commonly prescribed dose, that is 50 mg. It is advised to start taking zoloft from the lowest effective dose and gradually increase overtime if needed. So if your doctor increases your dose to 100 mg, it’s totally fine to take it.
What are the negative side effects of Zoloft?
Negative side effects of zoloft include:
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling angry or agitated
- Weight gain
- Inability to digest food
- Loss of libido
- Sweating/Night sweats
- Tremors or shaking
- Decreased sex drive
- Inability to ejaculate
More harmful side effects include:
- Eye pain with vision problems
- 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
- Abnormal behaviour/mania
- Suicidal thoughts
- Feeling guilty all the time
- Extrapyramidal symptoms
- Low sodium levels, associated with psychological symptoms like confusion, agitation, inability to understand surroundings, memory loss etc.
- Elongation of QT interval, causing increased heartbeat or arrhythmia
- Mitchell Snyder et al. Am J Ther. (2016) – Sertraline-Induced Rhabdomyolysis: A Case Report and Literature Review https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25581857/
- Sertraline https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/sertraline-01
- Sertraline – oral use https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/sertraline-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20065940?p=1
- Calcium fact sheet https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/
- Vitamin D https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/
- Kerry S Kuehl, Erica T Perrier, Diane L Elliot, and James C Chesnutt (2010) – Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874510/
- Yanita McLeay, Matthew J Barnes, Toby Mundel, Suzanne M Hurst, Roger D Hurst, and Stephen R Stannard (2012) – Effect of New Zealand blueberry consumption on recovery from eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583121/
- Bone health: Tips to keep your bones healthy https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/bone-health/art-20045060
- Antidepressants Linked To Bone Loss, Study Suggests https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070626115436.htm
- Kamil Serkan Agacayak, Rıdvan Guler, Bekir Ilyasov – Evaluation of the effect of long-term use of antidepressants in the SSRI group on bone density with dental volumetric tomography https://www.dovepress.com/evaluation-of-the-effect-of-long-term-use-of-antidepressants-in-the-ss-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-DDDT