Does Sertraline help with vertigo? (3+ medications)

In this article, we will answer the question “Does Sertraline help with vertigo?”. We will discuss pharmacological and non-pharmacological management options for vertigo.

Does Sertraline help with vertigo?

No, Sertraline does not help with vertigo. Instead, dizziness and vertigo have been reported as side effects of Sertraline.

Sertraline (also known as Zoloft), is an antidepressant belonging to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that work by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin within the brain. Sertraline is well-tolerated by most individuals, however, it may cause side effects in some people.

Apart from vertigo, other commonly reported side effects associated with the use of Sertraline may include nausea, insomnia, loss of appetite, anxiety, fatigue, diarrhoea, drowsiness, sweating, hallucinations, and confusion.

What does Sertraline help with?

The FDA has approved Sertraline for the treatment of depressive disorders like (1):

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Panic disorder (PD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

Sertraline has been used ‘off-label’ for the treatment of various illnesses like (2):

  • Binge-eating disorder
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Bulimia nervosa

What does research suggest?

There is no research available stating the use of Sertraline for the management of vertigo, however, there is evidence that the use of Sertraline can cause vertigo and dizziness.

A research study on the use of antidepressants and the occurrence of dizziness stated that vertigo and dizziness were more common with SSRIs. The occurrence of dizziness when SSRIs were discontinued was also a commonly reported phenomenon (3).

Another study, comparing the side effects of Sertraline with other SSRIs found dizziness and vertigo to be one of the most prominent adverse events experienced by Sertraline users. Among individuals taking Sertraline, 11.4% of the patients reported dizziness as a side effect (4).

A clinical study assessing vertigo and dizziness as a side effect of drugs stated that antidepressants like Paroxetine and Sertraline are capable of causing vertigo in individuals while they are taking the medication. It reported that these medications may also cause dizziness after discontinuation, as a symptom of the discontinuation syndrome (5).

What medications can be used to manage vertigo?

If you are experiencing vertigo while taking Sertraline, the following medications can be used to manage your symptoms (6):

  • Diazepam
  • Clonazepam
  • Gabapentin
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Cinnarizine
  • Betahistine
  • Prochlorperazine

It is important to note that the choice of medication will depend on various factors like the underlying cause of vertigo, specific symptoms, individual characteristics, and tolerability of medication.

What are the non-pharmacological strategies to manage vertigo?

The non-pharmacological approaches to manage vertigo include the following:

Strategy Details
Exercise Regular exercise can help alleviate vertigo and related symptoms and provide a non-pharmacological approach to managing dizziness and vertigo instead of a pharmaceutical intervention.
Dietary factors A diet low in salt and caffeine is beneficial for individuals experiencing vertigo. Both salt and caffeine cause fluid retention, which may lead to vertigo.
Lifestyle factors A proper sleep schedule can do wonders. It may also help in decreasing the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness.
Relaxation techniques Stress and anxiety have been known to make situations worse, and vertigo is no less. So deep breathing exercises and meditation can help you relax and reduce symptoms of vertigo.

What to do if Sertraline causes vertigo?

Although Sertraline may not help vertigo, it does cause it as a side effect. If you experience Sertraline-induced vertigo you should immediately contact your healthcare provider and communicate your concern.

Your doctor will assess your situation, discover the underlying cause of vertigo, and suggest an appropriate plan. You should never start or stop taking Sertraline on your own.

Your healthcare provider may give you a medication to target the side effects or adjust the dosage of Sertraline to improve your symptoms. If both these strategies do not work, your doctor may prescribe you an alternative antidepressant.

Some commonly used alternatives are as follows:

  • Duloxetine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Mirtazapine
  • Citalopram
  • Escitalopram

Remember that these alternative medications cannot be given without the recommendation of a healthcare professional. The occurrence of vertigo with any of these medications is also possible depending on the response of the individual using the medication.

Understanding Sertraline-induced vertigo

In my experience, Sertraline does not help vertigo and is not prescribed by healthcare professionals for the treatment of vertigo. However, individuals do report the occurrence of dizziness and vertigo while using Sertraline. This side effect is mostly seen at the initiation of treatment and after discontinuing the medication.

If you experience vertigo and dizziness while taking Sertraline, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare professional for a thorough assessment and personalised guidance according to your condition.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION. ZOLOFT® (sertraline hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. Available from:


Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline. [Updated 2023 Feb 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-. Available from:


Ramos RT. Antidepressants and dizziness. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2006 Sep;20(5):708-13.


Meijer WE, Heerdink ER, van Eijk JT, Leufkens HG. Adverse events in users of sertraline: results from an observational study in psychiatric practice in The Netherlands. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety. 2002 Dec;11(8):655-62.


Chimirri S, Aiello R, Mazzitello C, Mumoli L, Palleria C, Altomonte M, Citraro R, De Sarro G. Vertigo/dizziness as a Drugs’ adverse reaction. Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics. 2013 Dec;4(1_suppl):S104-9.


Plescia F, Salvago P, Dispenza F, Messina G, Cannizzaro E, Martines F. Efficacy and pharmacological appropriateness of cinnarizine and dimenhydrinate in the treatment of vertigo and related symptoms. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021 Apr 30;18(9):4787.

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