In this blog, we will talk about zoloft induced lump-in-throat feeling, which is a commonly reported side effect. We will also discuss why zoloft makes you feel that way and will try to determine if there is any other factor to be blamed for contributing to this lump-in throat feeling.
Zoloft induced lump-in-throat feeling
Zoloft is associated with a lot of side effects, one of which includes lump-in-throat feeling, often known as globus sensation. Most people have described it as a foreign object stuck in their throat.
This is indeed a disturbing feeling and as it increases, it can get pretty much disabling and you are unable to shake it off. Now the question remains, “How does it make you feel that way?”.
There are two possible explanations of zoloft causing lump-in-throat feeling. One explanation relates to zoloft induced acid reflux.
As it causes an increase in your stomach acidity, that acid reflux can disturb your esophageal mucosa (protective lining surrounding your oesophagus) which can result in inflammation.
This inflammation can make you feel like you have a lump in your throat. As long as the inflammation remains, you keep feeling that lump.
Another explanation relates to zoloft induced muscle tension, which is another most commonly reported side effect. It might increase tension in muscles surrounding your oesophagus.
The tensed muscle could feel like a lump in your throat. Acidity also has some role to play here. As we just discussed, acid reflux can cause inflammation, it could also be the reason for your muscle tension.
Other health conditions which might cause lump-in-throat feeling
Now, as you know that zoloft does cause lump-in-throat feeling, is there a possibility of anything else being a culprit. It could be!
Sometimes, your medication is accused of causing a side effect in you which could be a symptom of some underlying condition. Make sure you rule that out.
If you suffer from pharyngitis (inflammation of pharynx), sinusitis (inflammation of sinuses) and tonsillitis (inflammation of tonsils), you are most likely to suffer from this lump-in-throat feeling. Make sure you consult your ENT specialist to rule these out.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a medical condition that causes your gastric acid to flow up towards your esophagus. This could damage your esophageal lining and can cause inflammation.
Stress and anxiety are well known for causing unusual sensations and they could be a reason to make you feel this way. Make sure you consult your healthcare provider and check that zoloft is the best possible antidepressant for you.
Malfunctioning of upper esophageal sphincter
In simple words, the upper esophageal sphincter is a barrier between your oesophagus and pharynx. When this barrier malfunctions, it leaves an open door for acid to enter your throat.
Tumors are abnormal growth of cells. They could be benign or malignant (cancerous). The presence of a tumor can cause a lump-in-throat feeling. It actually is a lump in your throat. Make sure you rule that out.
If your thyroid gland is inflamed, because of the presence of some underlying thyroid disease, it can cause a lump-in-throat feeling. Usually, this condition involves other symptoms as well.
Make sure you monitor your symptoms efficiently and inform your doctor if you experience any unusual side effects.
Tips that might help
There are a few tips that might help in relieving some of that lump-in-throat like feeling. These include:
Manage your acidity
Your acidity could be the main culprit behind this feeling and that’s why you have to follow a strict diet to keep your acidity at bay. Here are a few things you can do:
- Don’t eat too much spice.
- Add prebiotics and probiotics in your diet.
- Stay hydrated
- Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grain.
- Eat good fats
- Walk a mile after dinner. It really enhances your digestion.
Low intensity exercise, yoga and stretching can really help you relax those tensed muscles. Try stretching your neck.
You can simply just sit on your bed. Keep your neck straight and start looking left, hold for a few seconds, then look right.
Similarly, try moving your head upwards and downwards, holding for a few seconds on each position.
Natural anti-inflammatory foods
You can try adding natural anti-inflammatory foods in your diet that could help relieve some of your lump-in-throat feeling. Foods that possess natural anti-inflammatory properties include:
- Leafy green vegetables, including spinach, kale etc
- Olive oil
Avoid foods that could contribute to your inflammation
Just like nature has some foods that can significantly reduce your inflammation, similarly it has foods that can actually make it worse. Avoid the following foods if you have inflammation in your throat:
- Red meat
- Refined carbohydrates
- Deep fried foods, like french fries, nuggets etc.
- Trans fat
- Foods having high sugar content
- Carbonated sodas
If your globus sensation does not go away, your doctor may prescribe some medications to tone down the root cause. In case of acid reflux, you may have to take over-the-counter (OTC) antacids.
Your doctor may suggest a throat relaxing spray to provide some relief and soothing sensation.
Other possible side effects of zoloft
Other side effects associated with 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
Zoloft, sometimes, causes serious side effects. Consult your healthcare provider as soon as you can if these symptoms occur:
- 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
- Skin allergy, which could include Stevens-Johnson. You might notice red, swollen, or blistered skin, with or without fever.
- Allergic reactions, like rash, hives are common. It also includes wheezing, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, swallowing, or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- 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
Make sure you’re using your zoloft as safely as you can. Do not deviate from your doctor’s recommendation. Do not switch doses or timings on your own.
You need to discuss dose and timing, along with your side effects, before you think of changing your dose or stopping zoloft altogether.
Use zoloft properly
- Administer once daily either morning or evening, as recommended by your healthcare professional.
- Consult your healthcare provider, if your mood worsens or you experience a serious side effect. Zoloft tends to induce suicidal behavior in users younger than 24 years of age. If you have someone who shows suicidal behavior or you see hopelessness in them, make sure you keep an eye on them and get medical attention as soon as you can.
- Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you feel symptoms of serotonin syndrome, like chills, fever, nausea, diarrhoea, confusion etc.
- Do not stop zoloft abruptly. If it’s time for you to stop zoloft, your doctor will simply make a taper schedule for you, which should be followed vigilantly if you wish to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay.
- Report any problems with bleeding or bruising to your doctor. If you see any unexplained blisters or rashes on your body, or experience any problems with urination, or if you feel changes in your vision, immediately report to your healthcare provider.
- Dilute Zoloft oral liquid before use with water. If water is too bland for you, you can mix it in some lemonade, ginger ale or lemon soda, to mask the taste better.
- Tablets can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. It’s best to eat something before taking it, in order to avoid acid reflux. Make sure you take it as directed by your healthcare provider.
When to see your doctor
Side effects associated with zoloft usually go away in 3 to 4 weeks. It varies from person to person. Some people may get better just after a week and some take months to recover from side effects.
If your side effects persist, or you feel that your side effects are unusual, immediately report to your doctor.
How can you protect yourself from side effects?
You can protect yourself from additional side effects by following your treatment regimen properly. Make sure you do not take medicine in a way or at such a time that causes more harm than good. Do not change the dose or stop using zoloft on your own.
In this blog, we have discussed zoloft induced lump-in-throat feeling. We discussed two possible theories to explain why zoloft causes this kind of feeling. Acid reflux and muscle tension are believed to be the two culprits behind this hypothetical lump in your throat.
Make sure you monitor your side effects accurately and discuss them with your healthcare professional. Normally, side effects go away in 3 to 4 weeks but if yours don’t, contact your doctor. You might need a lower dose.
FAQs: zoloft causing lump in throat feeling
Can Zoloft cause throat tightness?
Yes, zoloft can cause throat tightening. It can increase muscle tension which can make you feel that way.
Can antidepressants cause globus sensation?
Globus sensation is another name for lump-in-throat feeling. Yes, antidepressants can cause globus sensation. Acid reflux and muscle tension can be responsible for globus sensation.
Can Zoloft cause difficulty swallowing?
Yes, zoloft can cause difficulty swallowing by tightening your throat muscles.
Can sertraline make your throat swell?
Yes. Sertraline associated acid reflux can damage esophageal lining and can cause inflammation in your throat.
How long does globus sensation last?
Zoloft associated lump-in-throat feeling or globus sensation can last for 3 to 4 weeks. It varies from person to person. Some people recover from side effects earlier than the others.
Can stress and anxiety cause globus pharyngeus?
Yes, stress and anxiety can cause globus pharyngeus. In fact, they are considered the trigger factors for it.
- Why Is Zoloft Causing Lump In Throat Feeling? https://medssafety.com/why-is-zoloft-causing-lump-in-throat-feeling/
- Daniel Jones, BSc, MBChB, Academic clinical fellow in primary care and Simon Prowse, BSc, FRCS(ORL-HNS), Senior registrar otorhinolaryngology – Globus pharyngeus: an update for general practice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4582871/
- Noriaki Manabe, Hideaki Tsutsui, and Ken Haruma Pathophysiology and treatment of patients with globus sensation ―from the viewpoint of esophageal motility dysfunction https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5137314/
- Hull University Teaching Hospital – Globus Sensation https://www.hey.nhs.uk/patient-leaflet/globus-sensation/
- Lee BE, Kim GH. Globus pharyngeus: A review of its etiology, diagnosis and treatment. World J Gastroenterol 2012 https://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/full/v18/i20/2462.htm
- Lump in Throat https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/digestive-disorders/symptoms-of-digestive-disorders/lump-in-throat