Foods and Beverages to Avoid When Taking Sertraline

October 11, 2023

If you take sertraline, also known as Zoloft, to treat depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, then knowing what foods and beverages to avoid will help keep the drug effective. Some food-drug interactions can change the way a medication works, leading to side effects, and other reactions.

High-sugar and high-carb foods can interfere with the effectiveness of this drug, causing blood sugar spikes and crashes that can increase feelings of sadness or anxiety. Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, pasta, and rice that digest more slowly. Also, try to limit your intake of foods containing sodium, which can add to the fluid retention often seen with this medication.

Similarly, it's important to avoid foods that contain high amounts of tyramine while taking sertraline, as this drug can interact with tyramine to cause serious side effects. Avoid aged cheeses, air-dried meats, and fermented foods to prevent a reaction. Those who are switching from MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) to sertraline should be especially mindful of these dietary restrictions.

It's also wise to avoid certain herbal products and supplements while on sertraline, as they can increase the levels of serotonin in the bloodstream, increasing the risk of a potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. These include St. John's wort, ginseng, and tryptophan. If you are unsure what foods and herbs to consume, talk to your doctor. They will be able to provide you with more information and make appropriate recommendations.


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