Does fluoxetine cause body odour? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether fluoxetine can cause body odour or not. In addition to this, we will also explore the mechanism and the factor that will be associated with it and how this symptom can be managed.

Does fluoxetine cause body odour?

No, fluoxetine is not responsible for causing body odour. However, body odour can be produced as an indirect result associated with one of the side effects of the drug.

Fluoxetine is responsible for increasing sweat production. Sweat, if left unchecked, could result in the growth of bacteria which in turn would be responsible for the development of body odour by breaking down the acids in the sweat.

Body odour can be prevented by practising good hygiene which may include bathing regularly and using antiperspirants to prevent sweat production.

What is the link between Fluoxetine and body odour?

Fluoxetine is an antidepressant drug belonging to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Fluoxetine is not directly the cause of body odour but it cna alter the odour by causing sweating which in turn could be the reason for the production of body odour. (1)

Fluoxetine is useful for anxiety and other mood disorders but it comes with its drawbacks. Some of the common side effects are listed below:

  • Nausea
  • Inability to sleep
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling weak

Some people may also face serious side effects but it happens rarely. Serious side effects are listed below:

  • Change in weight
  • Change in periods: Could result in spotting, heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding between periods
  • Euphoria or restlessness
  • Abnormal bleeding from gums, in stool or urine
  • Hypomania or mania
  • Allergic reactions
  • Long-term sexual side effects: This may include difficulty in getting an erection or having a reduced sex drive

What factors affect body odour?

Apart from sweating, there can be other indirect factors that can contribute to the production of body odour while taking fluoxetine. (2)

Hormonal changes: During the time of puberty, hormonal and sweat glands become more active which can result in the production of body odour.

Dietary intake: The food ingested also plays a big role in the development of body odour. Food such as garlic, onion, seafood, alcohol and red meat etc can cause body odour.

Environment: A stressful environment can also trigger the production of sweat which can in turn result in the production of body odour.

Hygiene: The practice of poor hygiene will also result in the formation of body odour.

Genetics: It has been researched that every individual produces body odour that is distinct to them as seen in the case of fingerprints. Their body odour may be influenced by genetics and can be hereditary.

How to manage body odour while taking fluoxetine?

Some useful tips to manage body odour are listed below:

  • Practice good hygiene by taking regular showers and keeping your body clean. This will prevent the bacteria from breaking down the acids in the sweat which in turn causes body odour.
  • Incorporate the use of antiperspirants such as deodorants in daily routine to avoid sweating.
  • Reducing stress from life or managing it by addressing the cause of stress would help reduce stress. Stress can be reduced by yoga, meditation or getting professional help.
  • Loose-fitted and breathable clothes would also help reduce sweating as well as allow the skin to breathe freely.
  • Drink plenty of water to be hydrated. This will result in the removal of toxic waste from your body.
  • In case of stinky feet, dip your feet in warm water with baking soda. Baking soda is known to help neutralize body odour.


In my opinion, fluoxetine is a very useful medication for anxiety and mood disorders and has been well-tolerated by most people. If there are concerns about body odour, the person should try management techniques first before thinking of switching the medication. This is because fluoxetine is not directly responsible for body odour.

Different individuals will have different responses to the medication. Consultation with the healthcare provider would help you decide the most suitable option.

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Kolli V, Ramaswamy S. Improvement of antidepressant-induced sweating with as-required benztropine. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2013 Nov;10(11-12):10-1. PMID: 24563813; PMCID: PMC3931183.


Havlíček, J., Fialová, J., Roberts, S.C. (2017). Individual Variation in Body Odor. In: Buettner, A. (eds) Springer Handbook of Odor. Springer Handbooks. Springer, Cham.

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