Depression Treatment Medication Symptoms of a Zoloft Overdose By Nancy Schimelpfening Nancy Schimelpfening Nancy Schimelpfening, MS is the administrator for the non-profit depression support group Depression Sanctuary. Nancy has a lifetime of experience with depression, experiencing firsthand how devastating this illness can be. Learn about our editorial process Updated on November 20, 2022 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Steven Gans, MD Medically reviewed by Steven Gans, MD Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Symptoms Serotonin Syndrome Getting Help Treatment Next Steps How Much Is Too Much? If you suspect someone has overdosed on Zoloft, immediately call the toll-free national Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or visit PoisonHelp.org. It's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To save this information on your smartphone, text "POISON" to 797979. Someone who's taken too much Zoloft could have one or many symptoms ranging from the mild to the severe, but they're rarely life-threatening. Some are common to most cases, whereas other, less common effects can be more consequential. Zoloft (sertraline)) belongs to a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It's typically prescribed for anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It's also used to treat major depressive disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee Symptoms of Zoloft Overdose Zoloft increases the available amount of serotonin, the "feel happy" neurotransmitter responsible for mood and other aspects of health. Too much serotonin, however, can cause symptoms ranging from unpleasant to serious. Common Symptoms Agitation Confusion Dizziness Fever Nausea or vomiting Rapid heartbeat Shakiness Sleepiness Severe Symptoms Changes in blood pressure (higher or lower than normal) Fainting Delirium Hallucinations Heart problems Inflammation of the pancreas Mania Seizures Serotonin syndrome Stupor Signs of an Antidepressant Overdose Serotonin Syndrome Among the most serious risks of Zoloft overdose is serotonin syndrome, in which levels of serotonin reach a level that can cause symptoms such as: Muscle rigidityHallucinationsConfusionSeizuresComa Serotonin syndrome is most likely to happen in interaction with another drug. Getting Help for Zoloft Overdose If you or someone you know has accidentally taken a higher dose of Zoloft than prescribed, it's a good idea to get help right away, before the drug has a chance to cause unpleasant or dangerous symptoms. If a trip to an emergency room isn't possible, call the national toll-free Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or visit PoisonHelp.org. The staff there is trained to assess your situation over the phone and give advice about what to do. Information to Have Ready When you go to the emergency room or call Poison Control, the more information you're able to provide, the more precise the treatment can be. Having the following information available will be helpful: Any other drugs or supplements taken along with ZoloftCurrent signs/symptomsHow long since the drug was takenHow much Zoloft was consumed (actual amount or your best guess)The person's age, sex, and weightThe regular dosage (what the doctor prescribed)Whether the person attempted to commit suicide Treatment If the overdose was fairly recent, healthcare providers might pump the person's stomach to remove any of the drug that the body has not absorbed yet. Another option is to use activated charcoal to absorb any remaining medication in the stomach. There's no antidote for a Zoloft overdose. Healthcare providers will monitor the person's vital signs—heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure—and treat any problems that might arise. SSRIs like Zoloft rarely cause death, even with an overdose; most deaths occur because of co-ingestion with other drugs. Next Steps Following treatment for a Zoloft overdose, full recovery occurs once the drug has fully left the system. If the overdose was accidental, the doctor will advise the person on what to do next, which may involve switching to a different antidepressant or adjusting the dosage. The next step is to make sure that an overdose does not happen again. To prevent accidental overdose: Avoid recreational substance use.Avoid taking Zoloft with other prescription antidepressants.If you miss a dose of your medication, take the dose as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for your next dose, however, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at your regular time.Talk to your doctor about any other medications you're taking.Never take two doses of Zoloft at the same time. If the overdose was intentional, short-term treatment might involve hospitalization until the risk of suicide is no longer imminent. Health professionals might advise switching to another type of antidepressant if sertraline has not been effective in reducing depressive symptoms. Long-term treatments might involve further use of antidepressants, psychotherapy, and psychosocial support to address suicidal thoughts and symptoms of depression. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. Precautions You Should Take Before Taking Zoloft How Much Zoloft Is Too Much? A person's tolerance for a drug depends on many factors such as age, body weight, overall health, and other substances ingested. For this reason, it's difficult to know whether a particular dose of Zoloft might be harmful for a particular person. One dose may be exactly right for relieving symptoms for one person, whereas the same amount of medication could cause symptoms of overdose in another. 5 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Brendel DH, Bodkin JA, Yang JM. Massive sertraline overdose. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2000;36(5):524-526. doi:10.1067/mem.2000.111575 ZOLOFT- sertraline hydrochloride tablet. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. Foong AL, Grindrod KA, Patel T, Kellar J. Demystifying serotonin syndrome. Can Fam Physician. 2018;64(10):720-727. PMID: 30315014 Foong AL, Grindrod KA, Patel T, Kellar J. Demystifying serotonin syndrome. Can Fam Physician. 2018;64(10):720-727. PMID: 30315014 Simon LV. Serotonin Syndrome. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), U.S. National Library of Medicine, NIH. By Nancy Schimelpfening Nancy Schimelpfening, MS is the administrator for the non-profit depression support group Depression Sanctuary. Nancy has a lifetime of experience with depression, experiencing firsthand how devastating this illness can be. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Depression Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.