Antidepressants: Do they Cause Night Sweats and Excessive Sweating?

antidepressants night sweats

Some people who did not have any specific sweating issues before starting antidepressants may begin to experience excessive sweating, either during the day or at night (night sweats), after initiating this treatment. Sweating can affect various parts of the body and occur continuously or sporadically.

In this article, I address all your most frequently asked questions about the link between antidepressant treatment (like zoloft, lexapro or sertraline) and excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis.

To do so, I rely on:

  • Experience gained from working with people with hyperhidrosis since 2012.
  • Extensive research in the international scientific literature (all references are provided at the end of the article).

Still have questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments, and I will be happy to answer them.

💬 The comment section is there for you! Feel free to share your experiences, as they can be valuable to others.

♻️ Last update: september 2023
Disclaimer: Amazon Affiliate Links

Which antidepressants are we talking about?

In this article, I discuss the class of antidepressant medications in general.

lexapro night sweats, zoloft night sweats
Thousands of people search on Google every month informations about “lexapro night sweats”, “zoloft night sweats”, etc.

However, here are the names of the antidepressants that are most commonly searched for on the internet regarding the link between their antidepressants and night sweats. I indicate the active substance names each time, with frequent commercial names in parentheses.

  1. Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  2. Sertraline (Zoloft)
  3. Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  4. Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  5. Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  6. Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  7. Citalopram (Celexa)
  8. Trazodone (Desyrel)
  9. Vortioxetine (Trintellix)
  10. Vilazodone

Do antidepressants have the side effect of excessive sweating?

Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) is a common side effect when taking antidepressants. It occurs in about 5 to 22% of people who regularly take antidepressants (Thompson 2020; Beyer 2017).

This is generally a long-term effect that does not disappear as long as the antidepressant is continued.

You will also see in the medication’s package insert that hyperhidrosis is a possible side effect.

In this case, it is referred to as secondary hyperhidrosis (caused by a medication or something specific), as opposed to primary hyperhidrosis (genetic in origin, without a known triggering cause).

📚 I sweat a lot: what are the causes of excessive sweating?

Hyperhidrosis related to the use of antidepressants can manifest in different ways:

  • Night sweats
  • Generalized hyperhidrosis throughout the body, either continuous or intermittent throughout the day
  • Localized hyperhidrosis in specific body parts (armpits, hands, feet, face, groin areas, buttocks, etc.)

5 to 22% of people on antidepressants experience excessive sweating, even if they did not have it before.

lexapro and night sweats

Why do we sometimes experience night sweats with antidepressants?

The precise mechanism that causes antidepressant use to trigger excessive sweating in some individuals is not well understood.

The molecules in antidepressants have effects on neurotransmitters that regulate the human body’s temperature. These effects likely occur both at the:

  • Central level, in the brain: Antidepressants affect serotonin, which in turn increases body temperature and causes sweating.
  • Peripheral level, in the nerves that innervate the sweat glands.

Excessive sweating due to antidepressants may specifically occur at night because during sleep, hormones are secreted very differently in our bodies, including those that affect sweat glands.

The molecules in antidepressants have an impact on the body’s neurotransmitters, which are themselves linked to triggering sweating to regulate our body temperature.

What to do about night sweats?

Some common-sense tips can be followed to limit night sweats while taking antidepressants:

  • Sleep in a non-heated room, as cool as possible.
  • Keep the bedroom well-ventilated throughout the night, or use a fan directed slightly toward yourself.
  • Opt for “anti-sweat” sheets and avoid excessive covering.

It’s also possible to re-evaluate the benefit-risk balance of taking antidepressants in your case if night sweats are significantly affecting your quality of life.

There are also medical treatments available for hyperhidrosis, requiring a doctor’s prescription.

📚 Oxybutynin/Ditropan for sweating & glycopyrrolate for sweating

Some common-sense tips can be followed to limit night sweats before considering gradually discontinuing antidepressants or taking a medication for hyperhidrosis.

Should I stop taking my antidepressants if I sweat too much?

An antidepressant treatment should not be abruptly discontinued.

If you are significantly bothered by hyperhidrosis, discuss it with the healthcare provider who prescribed the antidepressant. If the benefit-risk balance of taking the antidepressant is deemed significantly detrimental according to your experience, you may then consider gradually reducing the antidepressant dosage.

For instance, in some people, excessive sweating can exacerbate anxiety disorders, which may limit the positive effects of antidepressants on these conditions.

However, risk of hyperhidrosis is not related to the quantity of medication taken. Regardless of the antidepressant dosage, people have a similar risk of developing secondary hyperhidrosis (Beyer 2017).

Approximately 2% of people affected by antidepressant-induced excessive sweating discontinue antidepressant treatment because of it (Beyer 2017).

antidepressants that do not cause sweating

Antidepressants that do not cause sweating ?

A study specifically looked into this question: do certain molecules contained in antidepressants lead to less sweating than others (Beyer 2017)?

A research team reviewed 76 studies involving more than 28,000 people. They sought to determine whether hyperhidrosis was more common in people taking certain types of antidepressants compared to others.

People were taking antidepressants for:

  • Depressive disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders.

The team found that the risk of hyperhidrosis was present regardless of the antidepressant taken, whether it was a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), the two most commonly recommended classes of antidepressants as first-line treatments.

However, some types of SSRIs were associated with more sweating than others. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) was the SSRI type that had the lowest risk of triggering hyperhidrosis.

It appears that all antidepressants increase the risk of excessive sweating similarly, except possibly fluvoxamine, which may cause less sweating than the others.


Do you have any comments or questions? Your comments are welcome 🙂 !


Do you enjoy my content? Enter your email here and you’ll receive a notification for every new blog post on excessive sweating!

You may also like:


Mold JW, Mathew MK, Belgore S, DeHaven M. Prevalence of night sweats in primary care patients: an OKPRN and TAFP-Net collaborative study. J Fam Pract. 2002 May;51(5):452-6. PMID: 12019054.

Cheshire WP, Fealey RD. Drug-induced hyperhidrosis and hypohidrosis: incidence, prevention and management. Drug Saf. 2008;31(2):109-26. doi: 10.2165/00002018-200831020-00002. PMID: 18217788.

Beyer C, Cappetta K, Johnson JA, Bloch MH. Meta-analysis: Risk of hyperhidrosis with second-generation antidepressants. Depress Anxiety. 2017 Dec;34(12):1134-1146. doi: 10.1002/da.22680. Epub 2017 Sep 7. PMID: 28881483.

Akbaş A, Kilinç F. Investigation on aetiological factors in patients with hyperhidrosis. Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2018 Dec;37(4):344-349. doi: 10.1080/15569527.2018.1466897. Epub 2018 May 7. PMID: 29669433.

Thompson S, Johnson D, Lindgren T, Compton L, Chen JL. Clinical practice guideline for primary care providers in the management of antidepressant-induced hyperhidrosis: A quality improvement project. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2020 Aug 7;33(11):1080-1086. doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000478. PMID: 32773537.

founder of Hyperhidrosis'Observatory

Written by Nelly Darbois

I founded this website in 2012. Since then, I’ve been providing information and positive support to people suffering from excessive sweating. I’m also a physical therapist and science writer, living in French Alps 🌞❄️.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: