Does Sertraline increase salivation? (5+ factors)

This article will answer the query: “Does Sertraline increase salivation?” We will also talk about the research findings, who is more prone to experience increased salivation while taking Sertraline, and what to do if you experience this side effect.

Does Sertraline increase salivation?

Yes, Sertraline can increase salivation in some patients. However, it is rare, and the complete mechanism behind it is still unknown. Sertraline is more commonly associated with dry mouth; if you experience excessive saliva with Sertraline, please inform your doctor, as there may be other factors involved.

What does research suggest?

A few clinical studies have examined the effects of antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on saliva production. These effects were studied because Sertraline and other antidepressants may be linked with adverse effects like dry mouth, bad breath, and mouth infections.

Sertraline may be associated with excessive saliva production (sialorrhoea), but further research is needed to confirm a link between these two. Sialorrhoea can be an embarrassing side effect which may occur when a person does not swallow the saliva their body produces or when their body produces an excessive amount of saliva.

Conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression have been linked to reduced saliva production, leading to dry mouth (6). In most research studies, antidepressants like SSRIs are associated with decreased saliva production, which can result in dry mouth (1,7).

Some clinical studies have even suggested that dry mouth might not solely be due to depression but could also be a side effect of antidepressants.

Apart from dry mouth, Sertraline may also cause some common side effects, including, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, drowsiness, headaches, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, heartburn, or sweating (4,5).

What factors can contribute to excessive salivation while taking Sertraline?

Factors that can make you more prone to experience excessive salivation while taking Sertraline may include:

  • Dental, gastrointestinal, or neurological problems.
  • Weak muscles in the mouth and throat.
  • Myasthenia gravis is another condition characterized by excessive saliva production (3).
  • Benzodiazepines and Neuroleptics may increase the risk of excessive saliva when taken at higher doses.
  • Clozapine, Yohimbine, and certain antibiotics can also irritate the mouth.
  • Some toxic metals like Mercury, Thallium, and certain insecticides, may lead to excessive saliva production (2).

What to do if Sertraline increases salivation?

If you suspect Sertraline is the primary cause of excessive saliva, please inform your doctor. They may reduce Sertraline dose which will alleviate the symptoms of excessive saliva (6).

They may also examine your current symptoms, family/medical history, and other underlying health conditions that may contribute to excessive saliva. You can also manage excessive saliva through remedies or medication.

One option is to drink tomato juice, which is considered a saliva reducer due to its lycopene content. If tomato juice disturbs your stomach, you may take it after adding some sweetener. Using sea salt, olives, or lemon may also provide some relief.

If your condition worsens, your healthcare provider may suggest taking certain medicines, including Atropine Sulphate, Scopolamine, Nortriptyline, and Amitriptyline.

What are the alternatives to Sertraline if it increases salivation?

If you experience excessive saliva, your doctor may prescribe an alternative antidepressant, such as Agomelatine. Agomelatine is an atypical antidepressant used for the treatment of depression and anxiety.

Agomelatine has shown similar efficacy to Sertraline and may work faster in reducing depressive symptoms in the initial phase of treatment. Both Sertraline and Agomelatine have shown similar improvements in depressed patients.

Agomelatine may also have better tolerability with fewer side effects. However, it should only be taken if recommended by your doctor. They will examine your current symptoms and the response to alternative treatment.


While Sertraline is commonly reported to cause dry mouth, it may also be associated with excessive saliva production in some cases. However, the process behind this is still uncertain. If you think that Sertraline is the primary cause of excessive saliva, inform your healthcare provider.

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