Zoloft metallic taste (An unusual side effect)

In this blog, we are going to talk about zoloft induced metallic taste. It is a side effect reported by a lot of individuals and many suffer a great deal by losing their appetite. 

This blog will help us understand how zoloft can cause this side effect and how long it usually stays. We will also shed some light on research studies. 

Could zoloft be the cause of the unpleasant metallic taste in your mouth? 

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1 out of 20 people taking zoloft have reported a weird metallic taste as a side effect. The survey suggests that people can begin to experience the metallic taste in their mouth soon after taking their dose. Some people suffer a great deal and end up losing their appetite. 

If we closely look at zoloft induced side effects, we can see that some of them are connected to one another. As we have just discussed, the unpleasant metallic taste can make people lose their appetite and start eating much less than they really should. 

This creates a calorie deficit, which causes weight loss. A survey revealed that some people ended up losing around 15 pounds, solely because they couldn’t stand the metallic taste in pretty much everything they tried to eat. 

What does research suggest? 

A 2018 research study focused on the effects of drugs on taste buds. It concluded that sertraline can cause a weird metallic taste in your mouth. 

Another study also shed some light on this side effect of zoloft and estimated that around 4 out of 10 people suffering from this side effect end up discontinuing the treatment, simply because they can’t stand it.

One study revealed that this metallic taste can linger for a few weeks even after discontinuation of treatment. People have reported that this taste ruins almost everything they eat. 

One user described eating food as “Chewing aluminium foil”. This can cause loss of appetite and result in nutrient deficiency. Another study suggested that metallic or bad taste can be a symptom of depression itself. 

The study explained how the deficiency of serotonin and other excitatory neurotransmitters can mess up your sense of taste. If your metallic taste is because of your severe depression or anxiety, it should get better with the use of zoloft.

A few more studies indicated the same results. Experts believe that side effects of zoloft can be dose-dependent. Zoloft induced metallic taste was found more common in higher doses or when dose was increased from low to high. 

When the treatment of zoloft was discontinued in some people badly affected by metallic taste, it lingered longer in people who were at relatively higher doses.

What would your doctor recommend? 

As stated earlier, if the side effect is severe and it makes you lose your appetite, your healthcare provider might start tapering you off zoloft. If there is a chance of your depression getting worse, your doctor might start another antidepressant at the lowest possible dose.

In case of mild metallic taste, no intervention is needed. It might start to fade away all on its own, as the treatment continues. Zoloft induced side effects should start to disappear when your body adjusts to the presence of the drug. 

Make sure you take care of your diet and consume healthy nutrients. Malnutrition can heighten your side effects and disturb you even more. 

What can you do to get rid of unpleasant metallic taste? 

There are a few things you can try to counteract this side effect. These include:

Try taking your medicine with food

Several studies suggest that taking your zoloft with food might prevent this side effect. One survey revealed that the incidence of metallic taste is much more common in people taking zoloft on an empty stomach. 

It’s your best bet to take your antidepressant with food as it can help with your taste as well as acid reflux. 

Gargling 

It is recommended to gargle with warm salt water when you suffer from zoloft induced metallic taste. This can help reduce some of that taste and kill the harmful bacteria present in your mouth. It can also help with any blister or redness you might have on your tongue or inner cheeks. 

Drink plenty of water

Hydration is the best way to dilute down the bad taste in your mouth. Drink loads of water. You can also try adding your favourite fruits to make detox water, like kiwis, orange, berries, lemon and ginger etc. The fruity or citrus flavour can help mask the metallic taste even better. 

Take care of your oral hygiene 

Properly brush your teeth and tongue to help recent any dental infection. Bad oral hygiene can make your metallic taste unbearable and it makes you lose your appetite even more. Make sure you take good care of oral hygiene. 

Do not smoke

Avoid smoking. The flavour of smoke itself has caused taste related difficulties in people. This habit can exacerbate your bad taste, make you lose your appetite and contribute to several other side effects. 

Smoking, on its own, is responsible for deteriorating your health in more ways than you can imagine. Cut back on it and try smoking cessation therapies if you’re a chain smoker. 

Try eating cold sugar free candies

You can try cold candies to help mask the bitter taste. It’s best to opt for sugar free candies or the ones with natural sugars. You can also try putting your favourite fruits in the refrigerator or try making a cold smoothie which can help mask the taste without taking additional calories.

Chew gum

Chewing a gum can help increase salivation in your mouth which can dilute the bad taste. The taste of the gum itself can also help mask the metallic taste. Make sure you opt for sugar free gums if you chew them very often. It’s always best to stay away from added sugars. 

Try stronger flavours to help overcome the metallic taste

Try adding a little more bold seasoning in your food to help overpower the metallic taste. This way you can enjoy your food and can consume as many calories as you should. 

Make sure you monitor other side effects as well. If you also suffer from zoloft induced acid reflux, do not add too much spice or oil in your food. 

Underlying health conditions that may cause metallic taste in your mouth 

There are a few health conditions that might be present without you not even knowing about it. Make sure you ask your doctor to rule out the following conditions:

  • Pregnancy 
  • Allergy to certain kinds of food
  • Bad oral hygiene 
  • Deficiency of some mineral or vitamin 
  • Oral infections 
  • Exposure to heavy metals, like mercury and lead.. 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 
  • Central nervous system (CNS) disorders

Other medications responsible for producing metallic taste

There are certain other medications that can cause bad metallic taste on their own or when they’re being used along with zoloft. These include:

  • Drugs used to treat Cardiovascular diseases 
  • Drugs used to treat infections/antibiotics 
  • Drugs used to help relieve the symptoms of gout
  • Other antidepressants like SNRIs and TCAs. The remaining SSRIs can also cause this side effect. 
  • Anti-anxiety medications 
  • Mood stabilisers
  • Mineral or vitamin supplements 

Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any of the above mentioned meds and ask if they can contribute to this side effect and make it much worse. 

If yes, your doctor might adjust the dose or discontinue one of the two drugs and prescribe a more compatible agent. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we discussed zoloft induced metallic taste. 1 out of 20 people taking zoloft have reported this side effect. The surveys suggest that people can begin to experience the metallic taste in their mouth soon after taking their dose. 

It is usually believed that zoloft induced side effects begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment, but this side effect can cause complications by decreasing your appetite to the point where you actually start becoming malnourished. 

Several people have reported that they could not stand the metallic taste and almost everything they ate tasted bad. This resulted in the discontinuation of treatment with zoloft. Experts believe that side effects of zoloft can be dose-dependent. 

They are found more common in higher doses or when dose was increased from low to high. Make sure you inform your doctor and rule out any other underlying condition that might contribute to your side effects. 

FAQs: Zoloft metallic taste

Is metallic taste a side effect of Zoloft? 

Yes, zoloft can cause metallic taste. 1 out of 20 people taking zoloft have reported this side effect. The survey suggests that people can begin to experience the metallic taste in their mouth soon after taking their dose. Some people suffer a great deal and end up losing their appetite. 

What drug gives you a metallic taste?

  • Drugs used to treat Cardiovascular diseases 
  • Drugs used to treat infections/antibiotics 
  • Drugs used to help relieve the symptoms of gout
  • Antidepressants like SSRIs, SNRIs and TCAs
  • Anti-anxiety medications 
  • Mood stabilisers
  • Mineral or vitamin supplements 

What is the most common side effect of sertraline?

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Metallic taste
  • Feeling angry or agitated
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to digest food
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of libido
  • Sweating/Night sweats
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence
  • Inability to ejaculate

How do I know if I’m taking too much Zoloft?

Ask your doctor if you’re on the right dose of zoloft and also make sure you completely understand how to use the medication properly. You’re only supposed to take it once. Ask your doctor if you’ve been accidentally overdosing on your zoloft by taking it more than once daily. 

Can anxiety cause a metallic taste in the mouth?

Anxiety and depression can cause metallic, bitter or sometimes rotten taste in your mouth. 

When should I be concerned about a metallic taste in my mouth?

Metallic taste on its own is not dangerous or life threatening in any way. Make sure you and your doctor are certain that the reason behind your metallic taste is your medication and not any underlying health conditions. It is important to rule them out. 

References 

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