Does Sertraline cause smelly farts? (5+ helpful tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether Sertraline causes smelly farts and flatulence. We will also discuss common gastrointestinal disturbances associated with this antidepressant and what you can do to mitigate these side effects.

Does Sertraline cause smelly farts?

Sertraline may cause smelly farts in some cases. Flatulence is a known side effect of Sertraline and other antidepressants (1). However, it may not cause smelly farts in every individual. People are different and can respond differently to medications. 

Sertraline-induced gastrointestinal disturbances are quite common and these side effects generally start to get better with time as your body adjusts to the medication (1,2). 

However, make sure you monitor your side effects and discuss them with your healthcare provider. Your doctor can help you with them to make your treatment with Sertraline more tolerable. 

What does research suggest?

There is no direct research study on Sertraline-induced smelly farts. However, flatulence is considered a common side effect of Sertraline. One research study included 100 participants, out of which 64% of people experienced flatulence associated with the use of SSRIs (3). 

Other common gastrointestinal side effects associated with Sertraline and other SSRIs are acid reflux, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhoea, bloating, etc (1). The exact reason why Sertraline may cause GI disturbances or smelly farts is unclear. 

What factors may contribute to Sertraline-induced smelly farts?

Some factors that may contribute to Sertraline-induced smelly farts include:

  • Your diet – eating certain foods, especially those high in sulphur like broccoli, cabbage, or beans, can lead to the production of smelly gases when they interact with bacteria in your gut (4). Sertraline might influence your digestive system, making it more sensitive to these foods.
  • Sertraline-induced diarrhoea – it can disrupt the normal balance of gut bacteria, leading to an increase in gas production and potentially smelly farts.
  • A food allergy or sensitivity – consuming trigger foods can lead to digestive discomfort and increased gas production. This can result in smelly farts.
  • Consuming large meals or overeating 
  • Underlying digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or celiac disease

What to do if you’re struggling with Sertraline-induced smelly farts?

Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing persistent smell farts while taking Sertraline. Typically, Sertraline-induced GI side effects begin to subside on their own as your body gets used to the medication. 

However, Sertraline may cause stubborn side effects in some people. So, it’s important to discuss these side effects with your doctor. It is also important to make sure that your diet is healthy. 

If you keep eating heavy or gassy foods, your GI side effects may become more pronounced. Your doctor may also recommend OTC medication to help you with the excessive gases in your stomach. 

Helpful tips to manage Sertraline-induced smelly farts

Some important tips to manage Sertraline-induced smelly farts include:

  • Try fennel. You can consume it as tea or add it to your meals. It can help alleviate gas and promote smoother digestion (5).
  • Opt for foods that are gentle on your stomach and aid digestion, such as ginger, peppermint, and yoghurt with probiotics. These can help reduce gas and bloating.
  • Instead of heavy, rich meals, opt for lighter options
  • Identify foods that tend to trigger gas and discomfort for you, and avoid them.
  • Excessive caffeine intake can contribute to digestive issues. Consider reducing your caffeine consumption, especially if you’re sensitive to it.
  • Drinking plenty of water is essential for overall health and can aid digestion. 
  • Do not overeat, as it can put extra pressure on your digestive system and lead to more gas.
  • Engage in regular physical activity that can help keep your digestive system functioning smoothly.


In this article, we have discussed Sertraline-induced smelly farts. We have also discussed some factors that can make some people more susceptible to these side effects and helpful tips to manage them. 


  1. National Library of Medicine. Sertraline: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from: 
  1. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ZOLOFT (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Available from: 
  1. Anagha K, Shihabudheen P, Uvais NA. Side Effect Profiles of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: A Cross-Sectional Study in a Naturalistic Setting. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2021 Jul 29;23(4):20m02747. doi: 10.4088/PCC.20m02747. PMID: 34324797. 
  1. Price KR, Lewis J, Wyatt GM, Fenwick GR. Flatulence–causes, relation to diet and remedies. Nahrung. 1988;32(6):609-26. doi: 10.1002/food.19880320626. PMID: 3068547. 
  1. Liu H, Li J, Lin S, Liu T, Zheng C. Effects of dietary fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) seed powder supplementation on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, small intestinal morphology, and carcass traits of broilers. PeerJ. 2021 Jan 28;9:e10308. doi: 10.7717/peerj.10308. PMID: 33575119; PMCID: PMC7847707.’s%20seed%20is%20commonly%20used,et%20al.%2C%202011). 

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