Zoloft joint pain (5 Tips to help relieve your joint pain) 

In this blog post, we are going to talk about zoloft joint pain. Zoloft, an antidepressant, is associated with a lot of side effects, one of which include joint and muscle pain. This is why we’re going to learn everything there is to know about zoloft induced joint pain. 

Zoloft induced joint pain

Zoloft can cause stiffness, inflammation and pain in various joints of the body, including shoulder joints, hip joints, knee joints and finger joints. This side is not that common and is reported after 3 to 4 days of treatment with zoloft. 

The research data regarding this particular side effect is inconclusive. Some people have reported stiffness and pain in their backbone, their legs, and the back of their neck. A few cases have revealed inflammation of joints after being on zoloft for 2 to 3 weeks. 

Some researchers believe that zoloft has a negative impact on bone mass. A 2018 study revealed that the treatment with zoloft for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a tragic accident led to the decreased healing of a broken joint.

It was concluded that zoloft interferes with the regeneration of new osteocytes (bone cells). One research study took data from a huge number of women, around 10k, who had been taking zoloft for the last 6 to 7 years. 

The study concluded that these women, after prolonged use of zoloft, are more likely to suffer from fracture or broken bones as compared to women who never took zoloft in their lives. 

This indicates that prolonged treatment with zoloft is capable of deteriorating bone and joint health, by weakening them and decreasing their mass. 

A recent 2021 study indicated the same effect of zoloft on bone and joint health. The study was based on both men and women and it concluded that SSRIs can indeed decrease bone mass and can weaken joints over time. 

Some studies have also indicated that long term use of zoloft can increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in some people. It is extremely important to inform your doctor if you’re suffering from severe joint pain. 

If you’re a new user, it could indicate that zoloft is not the right choice of antidepressant or your dose might be too high for you. Researchers have suggested that zoloft induced side effects could be dose dependent. 

This can result in much pronounced side effects on higher doses, especially for a new user. 

5 Tips to help relieve your joint pain. 

If you suffer from zoloft induced joint pain, there are a few tips which might help relieve some of that pain. You can try and see which one works best for you.

Warm or cold press 

Warm press can help reduce your joint pain and swelling. You can either buy a warm pad or can simply iron your towel until it becomes warm. Apply it on your joints and press a little. 

Experts revealed that some people benefit more from cold press rather than hot press. So, you can use whatever works best for you. 

Do not strain your joints 

Make sure you don’t strain your joints. It is not recommended to use affected joints excessively. Avoid doing high intensity exercises like running or jogging. Don’t stand too long if you suffer from zoloft induced knee joint pain. 


You can try massaging your affected joint with warm oil. It really helps reduce the swelling by increasing the blood flow, which also helps in healing broken tissues. You can try peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil to massage your sore joints. 

Stretch your joints 

Where high intensity exercises are harmful in such a condition, stretching or yoga can really help relax your joints and muscles. It can help release the energy from your muscles and really strengthen them. Make sure you stretch those joints but not too much. A little goes a long way. 

Wear a tight elastic wrap

Tight elastic wraps are widely used to support swollen and painful joints. You can wear one around your affected joint. It restricts excessive movement and the applied pressure really helps in providing constant support to the joint. 

Use of zoloft with other medications that could contribute to your joint pain. 

There are several other medications which can cause joint pain all on their own. When such meds are taken together with zoloft, the combination sometimes results in enhanced side effects. Meds that cause joint pain include:

Cholesterol-lowering agents 

Several studies indicate that statins are capable of causing joint pain in a large number of individuals, especially atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Make sure you ask your doctor if you’re taking a prescribed statin. This might result in dose adjustment in the case of zoloft. 


Steroids are well known for their anti-inflammatory effects, but their long-term use can really mess up your bone health. Several studies revealed that steroids can decrease bone density and can cause problems like osteoporosis in women. 

These symptoms become much worse when you stop taking steroids. Make sure that you’re not on any kind of steroids, either for medical or fitness purposes, while you’re on zoloft. 


Antibiotics are known for a number of side effects, one of which include joint pain. This side effect is more common in people taking fluoroquinolones, including ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin etc.

These antibiotics can cause mild to severe pain in hip, knee and shoulder joints. Elderly people and people with underlying joint problems are more susceptible to this side effect but it is capable of causing joint pain in healthy young individuals as well. 

Chemotherapeutic or anticancer drugs 

Is there any part of the body that is not affected by anticancer drugs? I don’t think so! Chemotherapeutic agents are designed to kill cancer cells, but these meds attack normal cells as well. 

You probably know that every human part is made up of cells, including our organs, skin, hair and bones. Some anticancer agents attack mature bone cells, called osteocytes, which result in bone health deterioration. It gives rise to a number of conditions, some of which cause severe joint pain. 

Antihypertensive agents

Blood pressure lowering drugs can also cause a number of problems related to your bones and joints. Several studies have indicated that beta blockers, including propranolol, atenolol, esmolol etc can cause joint pain in 6-7% of people taking them. 

They can also increase the risk of osteoarthritis in post-menopausal women. Make sure you discuss the concomitant use of Antihypertensive and zoloft with your healthcare provider. 

Antidiabetic agents

Experts have revealed that antidiabetic agents, especially those which belong to the class dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, can cause severe joint pain. Several studies have backed up its incidence. 

These drugs include Januvia (sitagliptin), Onglyza (saxagliptin), Vipidia (alogliptin) etc. If you’re diabetic and your doctor has prescribed this medication, make sure you weigh out pros and cons before taking it. 

These agents with zoloft can cause disturbing drug interactions. Make sure you talk to your doctor about this. 

Note: Do not start taking any medication without your doctor’s approval. Do change the timing or dose without discussing it with your doctor first.

When to call your doctor 

Immediately reach out to your healthcare provider if you:

  • Experience nerve-racking joint pain that hinders your daily routine activities and cause serious discomfort 
  • Start noticing swelling, tenderness or redness around your joints. 
  • Find it difficult to walk, bone or bend your knees, fingers, wrist or any other joint
  • Start feeling burning or tingling sensation in your joints 
  • Notice significant loss of your appetite and you start losing weight rapidly 
  • Start showing signs of allergy or hypersensitivity reaction right after taking zoloft. 

Make sure you consult your healthcare provider if you suffer from above mentioned side effects. They are not usually considered normal and often require immediate medical attention. 


In this blog, we discussed zoloft induced joint pain. Experts suggest that in some people, zoloft is indeed associated with stiffness, inflammation and pain in various joints of the body, including shoulder joints, hip joints, knee joints and finger joints.

The research data for this side effect is inconclusive. Some studies showed that zoloft can decrease bone mass with long term use and can increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis in some patients. 

On the other hand, some studies suggest that zoloft can really help relieve rheumatoid arthritis induced inflammation. It seems like zoloft has a wide range of effects. 

One more factor contributes to this variation, the human body! Every human body has different physiological makeup which reacts differently to medications. 

The same goes with zoloft. Once inside your body, it produces its effects while dealing with your physiological makeup which gives rise to a number of different kinds of side effects. 

Make sure you properly monitor your side effects and report to your healthcare provider, who will then determine if you’re on an appropriate dose or not. 

FAQs: zoloft joint pain

Does Zoloft cause joint pain?

Zoloft is rarely associated with stiffness, inflammation and pain in various joints of the body, including shoulder joints, hip joints, knee joints and finger joints. 

Can sertraline affect arthritis?

Some studies have shown a positive relationship between zoloft and arthritis associated inflammation. It was observed that treatment with various sertraline can decrease swelling in such patients. 

Does Zoloft make your hands hurt?

Zoloft, in some people, can cause pain, stiffness and pins-and-needles sensation in fingers and toes. 

What antiinflammatory can I take with sertraline?

Some experts suggest that it is okay to take Advil but only if absolutely necessary. These two drugs should be used cautiously and only when there is no other way around. The use of sertraline with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can increase the risk of bleeding. 

Can antidepressants affect joints?

Studies suggest that long term use of antidepressants can result in decreased bone mass and can really weaken your joints. 

What are the symptoms of serotonin syndrome?

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:

  • Excessive sweating 
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Headache, which often feels like your head is pounding
  • Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bradycardia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching and muscle pain
  • Shivering and goosebumps


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