Does Sertraline cause edema? (3+ tips for management)

In this article, we will discuss Sertraline induced edema. We will also discuss some case reports and the overall incidence of this side effect. We will also discuss what you should do if you are experiencing edema while taking Sertraline.

Does Sertraline cause edema? 

Sertraline may cause edema in some individuals. However, it is not a common or frequently reported side effect. Sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), is not typically associated with causing edema as a common side effect.

However, as with any medication, individual responses can vary. There could be other factors that may make some people more sensitive to this side effect or this side effect may not be directly linked to the use of Sertraline.

In general, antidepressants produce edema very rarely. It is important to keep a close eye on your side effects while being treated with antidepressants.

What does research suggest?

There are limited reported cases of Sertraline-induced edema. These cases are generally infrequent and may be influenced by various factors like an individual’s unique physiology, dosage, and coexisting medical conditions.

One research observed the combination of Olanzapine and sertraline-induced edema (1).

A 20-year-old female with acute psychosis was prescribed Olanzapine and later Sertraline was added for post-psychotic depression. After two months on the combination, she developed peripheral edema in her legs and hands. When Sertraline was stopped edema disappeared within two days.

This is the first reported case of peripheral edema linked to the combination of Olanzapine and Sertraline (1).

Another study reported a rare case of bilateral cystoid macular edema due to chronic Sertraline use. Initially, the patient was misdiagnosed with uveitis and treated with oral corticosteroids. Later, discontinuing Sertraline improved retinal condition and visual acuity (2).

Factors contributing to Sertraline-induced edema

Sertraline-induced edema, although, relatively uncommon, can occur due to several factors including:

Hyponatremia: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Sertraline may cause hyponatremia, a condition in which there is a low concentration of sodium in the blood. This can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate fluid balance leading to edema (3).

Concomitant medications: Interaction with other medications the person is taking, like Olanzapine, can lead to edema as a side effect. It is important to consider the overall medication regimen.

Health conditions: Underlying health conditions such as heart failure or kidney disease can make individuals more susceptible to edema when taking Sertraline.

Dosage: Higher doses of Sertraline may cause edema as compared to low doses.

What to do if Sertraline causes edema?

If you experience edema as a side effect of Sertraline, reach out to your healthcare provider. They can assess your symptoms and guide you through the process. They can adjust the dose of your medication, switch to a different medication, or explore other suitable treatment options.

Always remember, do not skip any dose or discontinue antidepressants without consulting your healthcare provider. Skipping Sertraline can result in withdrawal symptoms.

Tips for managing Sertraline associated edema

To manage and prevent sertraline induced edema following strategies should be taken:

Medication adjustment: Depending on the severity of edema, the healthcare provider may adjust the Sertraline dosage or switch to another medication with fewer side effects.

Diuretics: In some cases, diuretics may be given to reduce excess fluid buildup. However, their use should be closely monitored by a healthcare provider (4).

Lifestyle modification: People suffering from edema should limit their sodium intake as it can contribute to fluid retention. Elevating legs may help reduce edema in the lower extremities.

Weight management: People should maintain a healthy weight, as obesity can exacerbate edema.

Hydration: Dehydration can worsen fluid retention, so patients should maintain proper hydration.


In conclusion, Sertraline is not a common cause of edema. Patients taking Sertraline should be aware of the potential for unusual side effects and immediately report any concerning symptoms to their healthcare provider. Regular communication with a healthcare professional can help identify and address any side effects, including edema, promptly.

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Cury LH, Kitadai FT, Helou CMB. Antidepressant-induced hyponatremia. Clinics. 2006;61(6):579-580. doi:10.1590/S1807-59322006000600015. Available from:

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