Increasing Zoloft Dosage From 50 to 100: Is It Safe?

Angela Sheddan

Reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Updated 01/29/2023

Thinking about increasing Zoloft from 50 to 100 milligrams (mg)? Here’s what you need to know.

Zoloft, also known by the generic name sertraline, is an antidepressant that falls under a type of medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Sertraline (and Zoloft) comes in tablet and liquid form and is commonly used in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic attacks.

Sertraline works by boosting levels of serotonin in your brain, which can help balance your mood. The right dose of this medication can be effective in treating these mental health conditions, which can ultimately improve your quality of life.

If it’s determined that sertraline may be a good fit for you, you might be started on a lower dose (like 50 mg). But what if you feel like more would help ease your symptoms? Is it ever a good idea to increase your Zoloft dosage from 50 to 100 mg?

Find out, plus learn about the potential side effects that may occur when you do this.

When treating MDD or OCD, the average starting dose of Zoloft is 50 mg, and the maximum dosage is 200 mg. For PTSD and panic disorder, the average starting dose is 25 mg, and the maximum dose is 200 mg. 

A healthcare provider will likely start you on a low dose. It can take a few weeks before you notice the full effects of this medication. 

If, after a few weeks, there’s no reduction in depression or anxiety symptoms, you may want to consider increasing your dose over a period of time.

Increasing your dose is safe as long as you don’t exceed the maximum recommended dosage. You should also be careful not to increase your daily dosage by too much right away.

Instead, it’s best to gradually increase your dose. This is why it’s important to work with a healthcare provider if you want to adjust your sertraline dosage.

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Whether you’re taking this medication for obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder or depression, there may come a time when you want to increase your dosage. Perhaps you don’t think it’s working or think it would work even better if you took more. 

If you want to try increasing Zoloft dosage from 50 to 100 mg, you shouldn’t do this on your own. Instead, speak with a healthcare professional.

They’ll be able to assess your situation and give medical advice pertaining to whether increasing your Zoloft dose from 50 to 100 mg is a good idea.

A healthcare provider can advise you on whether an increase could help, give you guidelines on how to increase your dosage, and keep an eye on any side effects that may pop up as a result of upping your dosage.

You should know increasing Zoloft dosage from 50 to 100 mg may trigger some side effects. Usually, these side effects are the same as the adverse effects that naturally come with taking Zoloft — which are generally mild.

Side effects of increasing Zoloft dosage from 50 to 100 mg include:

  • Headaches

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Sleepiness

  • Diarrhea

  • Dry mouth

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nervousness

  • Heartburn

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Excessive sweating

Rarely, there are more serious side effects. They include:  

  • Chest pain

  • Severe dizziness

  • Bleeding that won’t stop

  • Seizures

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Rash or hives

  • Swelling

If you experience severe side effects after a dose increase, seek medical attention from a healthcare provider immediately.

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If you’re increasing Zoloft dosage from 50 to 100 mg, you’ll want to do so under the care of a healthcare provider.

Generally, it’s recommended that you increase your dosage by between 25 and 50 mg a day each week. By increasing at weekly intervals, you’re less likely to experience common side effects.

Another safety-related reason to work with a healthcare provider before you increase your dose of sertraline is to ensure you don’t put yourself at risk for serotonin syndrome. 

This condition is a result of having too much serotonin in your system, and it can be life-threatening. Taking too much of an SSRI or taking multiple medications that influence serotonin levels can result in serotonin syndrome. Symptoms include restlessness, diarrhea, chest pain, hallucinations, eye pain and nausea.

A healthcare provider will be able to help you avoid putting yourself at risk for serotonin syndrome by safely increasing your Zoloft dosage little by little and not exceeding the maximum recommended dosage of 200 mg per day.

If you’re considering an increase in your sertraline dose, speak with a mental health provider. Hers offers online psychiatry consultations to assess whether an increased dosage would help treat your anxiety or depression symptoms.

If it’s determined that increasing the dose isn’t the right move, they may recommend other antidepressants (such as fluoxetine or citalopram). You can also discuss whether online therapy may help ease your symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Connect with a mental health professional at Hers today.

2 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. Sertraline. (2022, January 15). MedlinePlus. Retrieved December 17, 2022, from

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Angela Sheddan, FNP

Dr. Angela Sheddan has been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2005, practicing in community, urgent and retail health capacities. She has also worked in an operational capacity as an educator for clinical operations for retail clinics. 

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, her master’s from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. You can find Angela on LinkedIn for more information.

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