Does Zoloft cause bruising on the legs?(3+ ways to manage this side effect)

In this article, we will discuss bruising on the legs caused by Zoloft (Sertraline), an antidepressant. We will also discuss some research studies, factors that may make some people more sensitive to this side effect, and some management strategies.

Does Zoloft cause bruising on the legs?

Zoloft, also known as Sertraline, may cause leg bruising in some individuals. Although it is not that common with Zoloft, people have reported cases of bruising while on the medication.

This side effect is more common in people who use Zoloft concomitantly with other medications, such as Non-Steroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs and antiplatelet medications in general (2). We will explore this further as we discuss factors that affect Zoloft-induced bruising.

However, bruising could subside after adjusting the drug dose and with guidance from your healthcare practitioner.

What does research suggest?

Research suggests that Zoloft and other antidepressant medications of the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) and Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI) class could cause bruising. The exact mechanism by which Zoloft causes bruising is directly associated with its effect on peripheral Serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in platelet aggregation and vascular response to damage. Zoloft inhibits Serotonin uptake by platelets in the peripheral vascular system, causing a reduction in platelet aggregation, which in turn leads to decreased plug formation and clot formation. This mechanism may cause bleeding disorders (2,3).

Bruising (ecchymosis) occurs when blood pools under the skin due to this mechanism. It presents as pain, skin discolouration and swelling at the bruising site (2,4).

What factors affect the likelihood of bruising on the legs with Zoloft?

It is important to note that Zoloft does not work the same way for everyone. Several factors can influence the likelihood of bruising while taking this medication medication, such as:(1,2)

  • Dosage: Higher doses of Zoloft increase the risk of bruising. It is advisable to use the lowest effective dose to avoid experiencing this side effect.
  • Duration of medication use: Extended use of Zoloft may promote a higher likelihood of experiencing bruising.
  • Individual sensitivity: Some individuals may be more sensitive to the medication and prone to bruising.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Conditions like thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) can exacerbate the risk of bruising when taking Zoloft.
  • Taking other medications: Concurrent use of Zoloft with other drugs, especially anticoagulants or antiplatelet medications, can increase the risk of bruising.
  • Age: Geriatric individuals may be more susceptible to bruising due to their decreased collagen production and skin thinning that occurs with age.
  • Substance abuse: Excessive use of recreational drugs and alcohol can increase the risk of bruising while on Zoloft.
  • Injury: Physical trauma may increase the risk of bruising.

How to manage Zoloft-induced bruising on the legs?

There are a few things you can do if you experience bruising on the legs while taking Zoloft. These are:(1,2,3)

  • Consult with your healthcare provider: Reach out to your doctor as soon as possible to report the bruising. Your doctor will review your treatment, and determine the cause of the bruising. If your healthcare provider determines Zoloft as the cause, they may adjust your medication dosage. Your doctor may also switch you to an alternative medication that is less likely to cause bruising.
  • Monitor bruising: It is important to keep track of the bruises and present your observations to your healthcare provider.
  • Prevent further injury: To minimize the risk of additional bruising, you should take care to prevent accidents that could lead to injuries.
  • Lifestyle modifications: A balanced diet rich in Vitamin K and Vitamin C can promote skin health and may help reduce the risk of bruising. You should stay well-hydrated and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Cold compress: Applying a cold compress to the bruised area can help reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort associated with bruising.


Always prioritize communication with your healthcare provider regarding concerns with bruising and side effects you may experience while on this medication. Your doctor will assess your specific situation, consider potential risks, make medication adjustments (if necessary), and tailor a personalized treatment plan to address your needs.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Singh HK, Saadabadi A. Sertraline [Internet]. PubMed. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 [cited 2023 Sep 12]. Available from:



Orhan Çinar, Erdem Cevik, Kilic E, Muzaffer Emre Kesim, Mehmet Ak. Ecchymosis Due to Sertraline Use: A Case Report. Klinik Psikofarmakoloji Bulteni-bulletin of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 2010 Dec 1;20(4):321–3.



Eslami Shahrbabki M, Eslami Shahrbabaki A. Sertraline-related bleeding tendency: could it be dose-dependent? Iranian journal of psychiatry and behavioral sciences [Internet]. 2014;8(3):81–3. Available from:



Ward MG, Ornstein A, Niec A, Murray CL. The medical assessment of bruising in suspected child maltreatment cases: A clinical perspective. Paediatrics & Child Health [Internet]. 2013 Oct 1 [cited 2023 Sep 12];18(8):433–7. Available from:


Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site