Can Zoloft cause a burning sensation? 

Can Zoloft cause a burning sensation? 

Zoloft may or may not cause a burning sensation. Zoloft is associated with a number of side effects, but it’s not known for causing a burning sensation. 

However, it can cause this side effect in 2% of the population taking Zoloft. Those who have reported this side effect either experienced a burning sensation all over their body or a burning sensation only in their mouths. It can also cause a burning sensation in the throat, or a lump-in-throat sensation.

However, the majority of the population has not felt this way. Every individual responds differently to medications, especially antidepressants. Make sure you closely monitor your side effects, especially if you’re new to Zoloft or antidepressants in general. 

What does research suggest?

Research on the occurrence of a burning sensation with Zoloft is limited, and there is no specific data indicating its incidence. However, some individuals have reported this sensation while taking the medication. 

It’s important to note that individual responses to medications can vary, and what one person experiences may not be the same for others. A few cases of Zoloft-induced burning mouth syndrome have been reported. (1).

The exact mechanism behind the burning sensation associated with Zoloft is not well understood. It may be related to changes in the nervous system, as SSRIs like Zoloft affect the levels of serotonin in the brain (2,3) 

Serotonin plays a role in regulating pain perception, so alterations in serotonin levels could potentially contribute to abnormal sensations. It may also cause other skin-related side effects like eczema.

If you are experiencing a burning sensation while taking Zoloft or any other skin-related side effects, it is crucial to discuss this side effect with your healthcare provider. 

It is also important to remember if you have not gone through any skin procedures lately, like laser hair removal, dermaplaning, etc.

Although Zoloft does not affect these procedures in any way, these procedures may make your skin more sensitive to drug-induced side effects. However, this varies from person to person.

What to do if Zoloft causes a burning sensation in your body? 

Reach out to your healthcare provider if you feel a burning sensation after taking Zoloft. Although it is quite rare, it could still affect you and your treatment with Zoloft significantly. 

Your doctor may ask you to take a lower dose at first, as it’s not recommended to stop taking Zoloft abruptly. If your body adjusts to the low dose, your doctor may keep you on it for as long as your body takes to adjust to Zoloft. 

If you start doing well on this antidepressant, your doctor will increase the dose gradually. However, if this side effect persists even with a lower dose, your doctor will most likely switch you to another antidepressant. 

Your doctor may advise you to take Zoloft with food. You can also crush the tablet and mix it with food for ease of administration and to mask the bitter taste of the drug (4). This may prevent a burning sensation in your mouth right after taking the medication. 

However, Zoloft may not suit every individual, even though it is one of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants in the world. Make sure you don’t make any changes to your prescription without your doctor’s approval. 

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Purohith AN, Chauhan A, Bhandary RP. Sertraline-Associated Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Rare Adverse Effect of a Frequently Prescribed Antidepressant. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2022 May-Jun 01;42(3):315-316. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0000000000001523. Epub 2022 Jan 27. PMID: 35081579.


Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. 2023 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613469.


McRae AL, Brady KT. Review of sertraline and its clinical applications in psychiatric disorders. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2001 May;2(5):883-92. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2.5.883. PMID: 11336629.


ZOLOFT (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Full prescribing information”. United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Available from:

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