Does Sertraline cause eye twitching? (3+ factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Sertraline can cause eye twitching. We will also talk about factors that may make some people more sensitive to this side effect and what one should do if eye twitching occurs.

Does Sertraline cause eye twitching?

Sertraline is not commonly associated with eye twitching. This side effect is not commonly reported as a direct side effect of Sertraline. However, Sertraline can cause dry eyes – which can trigger eye twitching in some individuals. 

If you are experiencing side effects like eye twitching, dry eyes, or blurry vision while taking Sertraline, please reach out to your healthcare provider (1,2). Ocular side effects with Sertraline are not very common, but they are listed as potential side effects and should be managed promptly.

What does research suggest? 

There is limited research on Sertraline-induced eye twitching and not many cases have been reported. However, antidepressants are known for causing dry eyes, including Sertraline, which can cause eye twitching. 

One research study suggested that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like Sertraline, can lead to dry eyes (3). This happens because SSRIs interfere with the production of tears and mucus, which are crucial for maintaining a stable tear film on the eye’s surface (4). 

They also compete with acetylcholine, a chemical in the body, which can further disrupt tear secretion. High levels of serotonin in the tear film can cause inflammation on the eye’s surface and damage corneal cells (4). 

Another research study observed the connection between dry eyes and depression and anxiety. The study concluded that in psychiatric patients with depression and anxiety disorders who were using SSRIs, there was a significant link to dry eyes (5). 

Another study observed increased corneal staining in people using SSRIs for depression (5). Overall, these studies show strong evidence that individuals taking SSRIs, including Sertraline, are about twice as likely to experience dry eyes – which can trigger eye twitching. 

However, it is important to note that medications affect people differently and not everyone experiences these side effects.

Who is more susceptible to Sertraline-induced eye twitching?

Some individuals are more susceptible to Sertraline-induced eye twitching, including:

  • People taking higher doses of Sertraline might be at a greater risk of developing eye twitching. Higher doses can sometimes lead to more side effects.
  • If someone already has naturally dry eyes before starting Sertraline, they could be more susceptible to eye twitching. The medication can potentially worsen dry eye symptoms.
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions, especially those affecting the nervous system, might be more prone to eye twitching as a side effect of Sertraline.
  • If someone is taking other medications alongside Sertraline that are known to cause eye twitching, it could increase the likelihood of experiencing this side effect. 

Keep in mind that everyone’s body reacts differently to medications. What causes eye twitching in one person may not affect another in the same way.

What to do if you’re experiencing eye twitching while taking Sertraline?

If you are experiencing eye twitching while taking Sertraline, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider. Your doctor will help determine the exact cause of this side effect and will rule out other potential factors. 

Your doctor may also reduce your dose, especially if you are new to Sertraline or if your dose has recently escalated. If Sertraline continues to affect your eyes, your doctor will safely switch you to another antidepressant.

Just make sure you do not make any changes to your prescription on your own or stop using Sertraline abruptly. 


In this article, we have discussed Sertraline-induced eye twitching. We have also talked about factors that may make some people more sensitive to this side effect and what one should do if eye twitching occurs.


  1. Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. 2023 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31613469. Available from: 
  1. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ZOLOFT (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Available from: 
  1. Constable PA, Al-Dasooqi D, Bruce R, Prem-Senthil M. A Review of Ocular Complications Associated with Medications Used for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress. Clin Optom (Auckl). 2022 Feb 24;14:13-25. doi: 10.2147/OPTO.S355091. PMID: 35237084; PMCID: PMC8884704.
  1. Acan D, Kurtgoz P. Influence of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on ocular surface. Clin Exp Optom. 2017 Jan;100(1):83-86. doi: 10.1111/cxo.12415. Epub 2016 Jul 31. PMID: 27476479. 
  1. van der Vaart R, Weaver MA, Lefebvre C, Davis RM. The association between dry eye disease and depression and anxiety in a large population-based study. Am J Ophthalmol. 2015 Mar;159(3):470-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2014.11.028. Epub 2014 Nov 26. PMID: 25461298; PMCID: PMC4329250. 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site