Does Sertraline spike blood sugar? (+3 risks)

In this article, we will discuss the link between Sertraline and blood sugar levels. We will also discuss the impact of Sertraline on blood sugar levels. Additionally, we will look into the potential risk factors of raised blood sugar levels with the use of Sertraline.

Does Sertraline spike blood sugar?

Sertraline may or may not be associated with causing a rise in blood sugar levels. Sertraline is not significantly associated with rising blood sugar but results may vary from person to person.

Sertraline, which is given for the treatment of depression does not cause a surge in blood glucose levels but underlying conditions may lead to changes in the glucose levels which need careful monitoring.

What is the link between Sertraline and blood sugar levels?

Clinical studies have proved that the use of Sertraline can induce incremental or decremental effects on blood glucose levels in humans. Research showed reduced insulin requirement along with reduced HbA1C in diabetic patients after 180 days of use of Sertraline (1).

The elevation in insulin levels is caused by the increased serotonin uptake which ultimately leads to an increased production of insulin in the pancreas. Studies showed an increase in insulin but no effect was seen in blood glucose levels (1).

The effect of SSRI on major depressive patients is shown after long-term use of Sertraline. This use has also resulted in reduced blood glucose levels in diabetic patients (1).

However, significant changes in blood glucose levels were not observed in MDD comorbid diabetic patients taking Sertraline, but insulin levels were significantly increased in the 4th, 8th, and 12th week of use compared with pre-treatment (1).

This effect of SSRI i.e. Sertraline on MDD and diabetic patients varies based on drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and individual patient variation. Changes in blood sugar levels are observed in some patients which are not very significant (1).

Potential risks of the effects of Sertraline on blood glucose levels

The potential risk factors associated with the use of Sertraline on blood glucose levels are:


A diabetic patient taking an antidepressant i.e. Sertraline, Bupropion, etc. may cause hypoglycemia affecting the glycemic condition. Sertraline blocks the CYP 2C9 which affects the antidiabetic drug’s metabolism (2).

The combined effect of Sertraline and antidiabetic drugs i.e. Tolbutamide causes hypoglycemia because Sertraline elevates the effect of anti-diabetic drugs leading to the hypoglycemic condition of the patient (2).

Weight gain

The use of SSRIs in diabetic patients for the cure of depression is usually associated with modest weight gain. Varying from patient to patient, the use of Sertraline may cause overweight or obesity in some patients (3).

The modulation of serotonergic receptors in the CNS due to the use of Sertraline in diabetic patients leads to the mechanism of weight gain, abdominal obesity, and increased BMI (3).

However, in some patients, it may be associated with an increased risk of weight gain. Other antidepressants such as Mirtazapine are also associated with causing increased body weight in some patients.

What to do if Sertraline increases blood sugar?

You should immediately seek your doctor’s advice if your blood sugar levels have spiked after taking Sertraline. If Sertraline is causing a rise in your blood sugar levels, it is important to discuss the possible drug interactions to avoid further complications.

You should frequently monitor your symptoms to avoid any severe rise in blood sugar levels. You should not adjust, change, or discontinue your medication without consulting your doctor.

You should regularly get your follow-up appointments and inform your doctor about your health conditions and side effects. You should be monitored frequently to regulate blood sugar levels and to improve overall health.

Evaluation of your dietary habits is also essential. It is important to control your blood sugar levels along with treating depression. A balanced diet and healthy lifestyle play an important role in keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

However, this is necessary to know that antidepressants do not affect every patient in the same way rather their effects vary from person to person. Your prescriber needs to monitor you carefully to avoid any adverse events to happen.


Taking Sertraline for depression may not directly affect the blood sugar levels of all the patients. However, it may have certain effects on some patients. We have discussed the possible risks associated with using Sertraline and its effects on blood glucose levels.

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Kesim M, Tiryaki A, Kadioglu M, Muci E, Kalyoncu NI, Yaris E. The effects of sertraline on blood lipids, glucose, insulin and HBA1C levels: A prospective clinical trial on depressive patients. J Res Med Sci. 2011 Dec;16(12):1525-31. PMID: 22973359; PMCID: PMC3434892.


Sheneni VD, Shaibu IE. Drug interactions and drug-food interactions in patients receiving diabetes mellitus treatment. Endocrinol Metab Int J. 2023;11(2):23-8.


Matera E, Cristofano G, Furente F, Marzulli L, Tarantini M, Margari L, et al. Glucose and Lipid Profiles Predict Anthropometric Changes in Drug-Naïve Adolescents Starting Treatment with Risperidone or Sertraline: A Pilot Study. Biomedicines [Internet]. 2022 Dec 25;11(1):48. Available from:

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