Does Sertraline cause frequent urination?

In this article, we will discuss frequent urination associated with Sertraline. 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’re experiencing urinary side effects while taking Sertraline.

Does Sertraline cause frequent urination?

Sertraline may cause frequent urination in some individuals. It is listed as a side effect, but it’s not considered that common (1,2). 

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. Furthermore, Sertraline may cause urinary retention in some individuals. 

In general, other antidepressants like Escitalopram, Trazodone, etc may also cause this side effect. It is important to keep a close eye on your side effects while being treated with antidepressants.

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on Sertraline-induced frequent urination, and more research studies have discussed Sertraline-induced urinary retention. 

One research study observed the connection between urinary incontinence and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in general. This connection was noticed in about 14 out of every 1000 patients each year (3). 

Among SSRIs, Sertraline was found to have a higher risk (1.72 times higher) of causing urinary incontinence compared to other similar medications (3). 

The study also discussed that urinary retention is less common with SSRIs than with serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), another class of antidepressants. 

The exact reason why these medications might cause urinary incontinence is not fully understood. Some theories suggest that they might affect certain nerve and muscle functions in the bladder, but more research is needed to confirm this (3). 

Another study observed the effects of SSRIs on new users. They found that these medications were linked to an increased risk of urinary incontinence. Compared to those not taking SSRIs, the risk was 1.75 times higher for people on these drugs (4).

Overall, for every 1000 patients taking SSRIs, about 14 extra cases of urinary incontinence occurred each year. The risk was even higher for elderly patients, with 60 extra cases per 1000 patients per year. Again, the risk was found to be greater with Sertraline – about 2.76 times higher (4).

These research studies indicate that Sertraline can cause urinary retention. Some people may experience frequent urination as well. However, it is important to note that not everyone taking Sertraline will experience these side effects. 

What factors can contribute to Sertraline-induced urinary problems?

Several patient-specific factors and health conditions can contribute to Sertraline-induced urinary problems (5). Firstly, individual sensitivity can vary; some people may be more prone to experience these side effects than others. 

Additionally, underlying health conditions, such as a history of urinary issues or conditions affecting the bladder, may amplify the likelihood of urinary problems with Sertraline. 

Furthermore, the concurrent use of other medications alongside Sertraline can potentially enhance these side effects. 

Healthcare providers need to consider these factors when prescribing Sertraline to ensure the best possible treatment plan while minimising unwanted effects on the urinary system.

What to do if Sertraline causes urinary problems?

If you’re experiencing urinary problems while taking Sertraline, it’s important to discuss them with your healthcare provider. Some doctors may initially attempt a gradual reduction of the medication’s dosage to see if that helps alleviate the issue. 

However, it’s important to be aware that Sertraline might continue to cause urinary problems in some individuals. In such cases, discontinuing the use of this medication may become necessary, but it’s crucial not to abruptly stop taking it. 

Instead, always have a conversation with your healthcare provider who can guide you through the process, potentially switch to a different medication, or explore other suitable treatment options. Just remember to not make any changes to your treatment plan on your own.


In this article, we have discussed frequent urination associated with Sertraline. We have also discussed some research studies and factors that may contribute to this side effect.

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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:


Pease E, Singh B, Ziegelmann M, Betcher H. Dose-Dependent Urinary Incontinence with Sertraline Use in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Psychopharmacol Bull. 2021 Nov 3;51(4):117-121. PMID: 34887603; PMCID: PMC8601759.


Movig KL, Leufkens HG, Belitser SV, Lenderink AW, Egberts AC. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-induced urinary incontinence. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2002 Jun;11(4):271-9. doi: 10.1002/pds.705. PMID: 12138594.


Wrenn K. Dysuria, Frequency, and Urgency. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd ed. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 181. PMID: 21250134.

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