Does Sertraline cause tremors?

In this article, we will discuss tremors associated with Sertraline – a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). We will also discuss some research studies and what you should do if this side effect occurs.

Does Sertraline cause tremors?

Sertraline may cause tremors in some individuals. It is not considered a common side effect, but antidepressants like Sertraline may trigger involuntary shaking or tremors in some people (1,2). 

In some cases, tremors may not be directly linked to the antidepressant being used and some other individual-specific factors may contribute to them or trigger them in the first place. If you are taking sertraline and are experiencing tremors, it’s important to reach out to your healthcare provider. 

What does research suggest?

There is limited research on tremors associated with Sertraline. However, research has linked the use of SSRIs and tremors. One case study included a patient who developed hemichorea (involuntary movements or jerks) linked to Sertraline use (3).

The study indicated that only about 10% of SSRI-induced movement disorders are associated with Sertraline, often when used alongside other medications. The movement issues typically caused by Sertraline are tremors, dystonia, and akathisia (3,4). 

However, what’s unique in this case is that hemichorea, a type of involuntary movement, has not been reported before in connection with Sertraline. The exact mechanism through which SSRIs like Sertraline trigger movement disorders isn’t fully understood. 

Two hypotheses have been proposed: one suggests Sertraline’s impact on both serotonin and dopamine pathways, while the other involves genetic factors like receptor variations or enzyme phenotypes (3). 

These factors may explain why these symptoms usually affect both sides of the body, but why it led to hemichorea in this case remains unclear.

Another research study indicated that SSRIs like Sertraline can lead to movement-related side effects known as extrapyramidal syndrome (EPS). (5)

While Fluoxetine and Paroxetine were more commonly associated with EPS, recent cases have linked Sertraline and Escitalopram to these effects too. 

This case report adds to the evidence that Sertraline, like other SSRIs, may indeed cause significant movement-related issues. This concludes that Sertraline can trigger tremors in some individuals. (5)

What factors can contribute to Sertraline-induced tremors?

Sertraline-induced tremors can be influenced by a range of factors, primarily patient-specific details. Each person’s body reacts differently to medications, including Sertraline, and this can lead to varying degrees of tremors. Underlying health conditions play a crucial role as well. 

Patients with conditions that can cause tremors on their own, such as Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor, may experience worsened symptoms when taking Sertraline (6). Additionally, the use of other medications alongside Sertraline can contribute to tremors. 

Certain drugs, when combined with Sertraline, might amplify its side effects, including tremors. Healthcare providers need to consider these individual factors when prescribing sertraline to minimise the risk of tremors.

What to do if Sertraline causes tremors? 

If Sertraline causes tremors, it’s important to discuss it with your healthcare provider. In most cases, doctors may initially consider reducing the dose to see if that helps alleviate the tremors. However, it’s essential to note that tremors are a rare side effect of Sertraline. 

If the tremors persist or become too bothersome, discontinuing the medication under your doctor’s guidance might be necessary. The good news is that once you stop taking Sertraline, the tremors typically improve over time on their own. 

However, in certain situations, your doctor may recommend other medications or interventions to manage the tremors. It’s crucial to remember not to abruptly stop taking Sertraline on your own, as your doctor will guide you through a safe tapering process if needed. 


In this article, we have discussed tremors associated with Sertraline. We have discussed some research studies and factors that may make some people more sensitive to Sertraline-induced tremors as compared to others.

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