Does Sertraline cause blurry vision?

In this article, we will discuss Sertraline-induced blurry vision. We will also talk about some other reported ocular side effects associated with Sertraline – a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). We will also discuss what you should do if such side effects occur.

Does Sertraline cause blurry vision?

Sertraline may cause blurry vision as a side effect in some individuals. Although it is not considered common, it is still listed as a potential side effect of Sertraline and other SSRIs (1,2). 

Blurry vision or ocular side effects, in general, were known to be associated with Sertraline in the 20th century (3) – but with the increasing use of Sertraline in the 21st century, such side effects started to show up. 

Generally, blurry vision is still rare with Sertraline, but one should be aware of that. If you’re taking Sertraline and noticing an unusual cloudiness in your vision, you need to discuss this with your doctor right away. 

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on Sertraline-induced blurry vision. However, ocular side effects have been reported with Sertraline and other antidepressants, like Escitalopram, Bupropion, etc.

In a study involving three patients, there was a potential link found between the use of Sertraline and a specific eye condition affecting the macula (4). 

The patients, all white females, experienced visual disturbances, and examinations revealed disruptions in the outer retinal layer and retinal pigment epithelium (4). 

Another research review found 124 reports of visual issues associated with antidepressants that inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, including Sertraline (5). 

Common symptoms included blurred vision (63.7%), night blindness (17.7%), and other problems like vitreous floaters and photophobia. Many patients (74) reported that these side effects affected their daily lives, 62 sought medical care, and 50 said it impacted their work (5). 

The study concluded that antidepressants that affect serotonin reuptake can have adverse effects on vision and more research is needed to understand this and its prevalence among users. 

Furthermore, Sertraline and other SSRIs may cause some serious ocular complications. 

A UK journal recently reported five cases of optic neuropathy possibly linked to long-term use of SSRIs in an island population of 140,000. All five cases experienced visual loss believed to be from ischaemic optic neuropathy (6). 

Two cases had progressive bilateral visual field loss, two had severe sudden unilateral vision loss, and one had bilateral sudden vision loss. The patients were relatively young, with an average age of 49 and an average of 7 years on SSRIs (6). 

Discontinuing the SSRIs didn’t lead to further deterioration in all cases which clearly indicated that the side effects were SSRI-induced. 

What to do if Sertraline affects your vision?

If you notice that Sertraline is affecting your vision, it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. In some cases, doctors might consider reducing the dose if your vision becomes slightly blurry suddenly. 

However, if blurry vision continues with long-term use of Sertraline, it might be necessary to discontinue the treatment – as this can lead to disturbing ocular complications in some people. 

Just make sure you never stop taking Sertraline abruptly; always consult your doctor for guidance on how to safely adjust your medication. Your eye health is important, so any vision changes should be discussed with your healthcare provider. 

If Sertraline is harming your vision and is not the right choice of antidepressant for you anymore, your doctor will help taper it off safely and switch you to another antidepressant to help manage your depression symptoms. Never discontinue antidepressants abruptly. 


In this article, we have discussed Sertraline-induced blurry vision. We have also talked about some other reported ocular side effects associated with Sertraline and what you should do if such side effects occur.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ZOLOFT (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Available from:


National Library of Medicine. Sertraline: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from:


Auster R. Sertraline: a new antidepressant. Am Fam Physician. 1993 Aug;48(2):311-4. PMID: 8342482.


Javidi H, Ah-Moye S, Hennings C, Mehta H, Mahmood S. Presumed Sertraline-Associated Maculopathy: A Case Series. Ophthalmol Ther. 2021 Jun;10(2):359-365. doi: 10.1007/s40123-021-00340-7. Epub 2021 Mar 20. PMID: 33743165; PMCID: PMC8079477.


Healy D, Mangin D, Lochhead J. Development and persistence of patient-reported visual problems associated with serotonin reuptake inhibiting antidepressants. Int J Risk Saf Med. 2022;33(1):37-47. doi: 10.3233/JRS-210018. PMID: 34366298.


Lochhead J. Keep an eye on the SSRI: help avoid possible sight-threatening adverse events. Br J Gen Pract. 2016 Feb;66(643):91. doi: 10.3399/bjgp16X683641. PMID: 26823253; PMCID: PMC4723200.

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