Skip to Content

Zoloft (sertraline) and Alcohol / Food Interactions

There are 2 alcohol/food/lifestyle interactions with Zoloft (sertraline) which include:

sertraline ↔ Alcohol (Ethanol)

Moderate Drug Interaction

Using sertraline together with ethanol can increase nervous system side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with sertraline. Do not use more than the recommended dose of sertraline, and avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medication without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

sertraline ↔ food

Moderate Food Interaction

Consumer information for this interaction is not currently available.

GENERALLY AVOID: Alcohol may potentiate some of the pharmacologic effects of sertraline. Use in combination may result in additive central nervous system depression and/or impairment of judgment, thinking, and psychomotor skills. In addition, limited clinical data suggest that consumption of grapefruit juice during treatment with sertraline may result in increased plasma concentrations of sertraline. The proposed mechanism is inhibition of CYP450 3A4-mediated metabolism by certain compounds present in grapefruit. An in-vitro study demonstrated that grapefruit juice dose-dependently inhibits the conversion of sertraline to its metabolite, desmethylsertraline. In a study with eight Japanese subjects, mean plasma levels of sertraline increased by approximately 100% and maximum plasma concentrations increased by 66% after the ingestion of three 250 mL glasses of grapefruit juice per day for 5 days and administration of a single dose of sertraline 75 mg on the sixth day. In another small study with 5 patients, mean sertraline trough levels increased by 47% after taking sertraline for at least 6 weeks, then taking sertraline with 240 mL grapefruit juice daily for 1 week. The clinical significance is unknown; however, pharmacokinetic alterations associated with interactions involving grapefruit juice are often subject to a high degree of interpatient variability. The possibility of significant interaction in some patients should be considered.

MANAGEMENT: Patients receiving sertraline should be advised to avoid or limit consumption of alcohol. Ambulatory patients should be counseled to avoid hazardous activities requiring complete mental alertness and motor coordination until they know how sertraline affects them, and to notify their physician if they experience excessive or prolonged CNS effects that interfere with their normal activities. Some authorities recommend that consumption of grapefruit juice should be avoided during sertraline therapy.


  1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
  2. Ueda N, Yoshimura R, Umene-Nakano W, et al. "Grapefruit juice alters plasma sertraline levels after single ingestion of sertraline in healthy volunteers." World J Biol Psychiatry 10(4 Pt 3) (2009): 832-5
  3. "Product Information. Zoloft (sertraline)." Roerig Division, New York, NY.
View all 4 references

You should also know about...

Zoloft (sertraline) drug Interactions

There are 1021 drug interactions with Zoloft (sertraline)

Zoloft (sertraline) disease Interactions

There are 7 disease interactions with Zoloft (sertraline) which include:

Drug Interaction Classification

The classifications below are a general guideline only. It is difficult to determine the relevance of a particular drug interaction to any individual given the large number of variables.

Major Highly clinically significant. Avoid combinations; the risk of the interaction outweighs the benefit.
Moderate Moderately clinically significant. Usually avoid combinations; use it only under special circumstances.
Minor Minimally clinically significant. Minimize risk; assess risk and consider an alternative drug, take steps to circumvent the interaction risk and/or institute a monitoring plan.

Do not stop taking any medications without consulting your healthcare provider.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Multum is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. Multum's information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Multum Information Services, Inc. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. Copyright 2000-2015 Multum Information Services, Inc. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.