Xanax and Zoloft can treat a variety of mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety. In some cases, these medications may be prescribed together.

Article at a Glance:

  • Zoloft is an antidepressant that is prescribed for mental health concerns like depression and anxiety.
  • Xanax is a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Zoloft can increase the amount of Xanax in your system, but the interaction is considered a mild one.

Can I Take Xanax With Zoloft?

Xanax and Zoloft are typically used to treat mental health conditions like anxiety. It’s not unusual for a person to be prescribed both of these drugs at the same time. In these cases, Xanax might be prescribed as a fast-acting way to cope with anxiety or panic symptoms. Zoloft would be a long-term treatment that takes longer to work but deals with the underlying symptoms over time.

Is It Safe To Take Xanax and Zoloft Together?

While your doctor should provide the ultimate advice, it is typically safe to take Xanax and Zoloft together. This is because Xanax and Zoloft work on different pathways in the brain. Xanax is a benzodiazepine, and Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Xanax suppresses and calms central nervous system activity, while antidepressants like Zoloft are designed to regulate the brain’s serotonin levels.

It may not be dangerous to combine Xanax and Zoloft, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t potential side effects. For example, mixing Xanax and Zoloft can increase the level of Xanax in your system, potentially increasing side effects.

Another problem is that you may not be able to determine how effectively the Zoloft is or isn’t working if you’re mixing it with something like Xanax. As a result, it can be difficult to know if you’re getting results or experiencing side effects.

Taking Xanax Until Zoloft Kicks In

Sometimes, a doctor will have you take a benzodiazepine like Xanax when you first start Zoloft. This is because it can take Zoloft several weeks to kick in. Studies have shown that adding a benzodiazepine to an antidepressant in the early phase of mental health treatment can lead to better results than taking the antidepressant alone. However, these results are not maintained over the long term, so benzodiazepines are not usually continued.

What Is Zoloft (Sertraline)?

Zoloft is a brand-name prescription drug with the generic name sertraline. It’s an SSRI antidepressant, meaning it balances the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.

Some characteristics of Zoloft include:

Generic nameSertraline
Conditions it can treatDepression, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Panic disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Social phobia, Premature ejaculation, Vascular headaches
Drug typeAntidepressant (SSRI)
Controlled substance statusNot controlled
Side effectsNausea, diarrhea, indigestion, dry mouth, sleepiness, dizziness, insomnia, tremor, problems ejaculating, sweating
How long it takes to have its peak effectUp to four weeks
How often to take itOnce daily


Is Zoloft like Xanax?

Zoloft and Xanax are different drugs. While Zoloft is an antidepressant and not a controlled substance, Xanax is a benzodiazepine and controlled substance.

Does Zoloft feel like Xanax?

Zoloft and Xanax can both help you control certain mental health disorders. Although each drug’s side effects vary, they have some side effects in common, such as sleepiness.

What Is Xanax (Alprazolam)?

Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance available by prescription for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax works on the central nervous system by stimulating the release of the calming neurotransmitter GABA. This helps reduce the activity of the brain, which results in the user feeling calmer and more relaxed.

Some characteristics of Xanax include:

Generic nameAlprazolam
Conditions it can treatGeneralized anxiety disorder, Panic disorder
Drug typeBenzodiazepine
Controlled substance statusSchedule IV controlled substance
Side effectsSleepiness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, coordination problems, impaired memory, confusion, decreased libido
How long it takes to have its peak effectOne to two hours
How often to take itExactly as prescribed by your doctor, usually one to three times daily

Side Effects of Taking Xanax and Zoloft at the Same Time

Because Zoloft can increase the levels of Xanax in your system, the side effects of Xanax may be intensified if you take the drugs together. However, doctors consider this side effect to be of minor importance.

Summing Up — Xanax and Zoloft

Xanax and Zoloft may be safe when combined and the side effects might be minimal, but you should always speak to your doctor before taking these drugs at the same time. There may be situations involving your personal health that prevent your doctor from saying it’s safe to take Xanax and Zoloft together, which is why you should always consult them first.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to Xanax or other drugs, The Recovery Village is here to help. Contact us today to speak with a representative and learn more about addiction treatment programs that can work well for you.

Jonathan Strum
Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
Jessica Pyhtila
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group. “Antidepressants plus benzodiazepines for[…]ith major depression.” Cochrane Library, June 3, 2019. Accessed October 18, 2021.

Drugs.com. “Drug Interaction Report: Xanax and Zoloft.” Accessed October 18, 2021.

Drugs.com. “Xanax.” September 1, 2021. Accessed October 18, 2021.

Drugs.com. “Sertraline.” February 5, 2021. Accessed October 18, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.