High-Tyramine Foods and Sertraline: Risks and Precautions


The mental health medication, Sertraline, does not interact well with specific foods, herbs, and natural stimulants. Foods that have high amounts of Tyramine should be avoided for the duration that you take this medication. Your doctor may require you to stick to a particular dietary protocol while taking this medication. 

Sertraline is an antidepressant that is often prescribed for treating anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Antidepressants alter the chemical balance in the brain and influence one’s emotions and moods. Antidepressants like Sertraline have possible side effects that may worsen with the consumption of certain foods. 

Pay attention to how you feel while taking Sertraline. Always speak with your doctor about any adverse reactions as soon as they occur. Continue reading for more information on foods to avoid when taking sertraline and the risks and precautions associated with high-tyramine foods and this medication. 

Know which foods to avoid when taking sertraline. 

  • Foods with high levels of Tyramine, including cured meats and aged cheeses like parmesan and cheddar, can interfere with Sertraline and cause a hypertensive crisis
  • Eating foods with Tyramine while taking Sertraline can cause blood pressure surges and disrupt serotonin levels, affecting mood and emotional regulation. 
  • Aged, pickled, or fermented foods are foods to avoid when taking sertraline. 
  • Grapefruit is another one of the foods to avoid when taking sertraline, as it can interfere with the ability to metabolize the drug, increasing the levels of the drug in the bloodstream. 

Be aware of the side effects of food-drug interactions. 

If you consume too much caffeine while taking Sertraline, side effects like insomnia and nervousness may increase. Even though caffeine and Sertraline don’t interact directly, excessive caffeine consumption can exacerbate specific drug side effects. Be mindful of how you feel while taking Sertraline and consuming caffeine, as you may need to cut back even if you only consume a small amount. 

It is essential to monitor how much caffeine you consume, especially while taking medications like Sertraline. Additionally, when Sertraline interacts with alcohol, side effects of drowsiness and impaired judgment can increase. Your doctor may advise you to eliminate alcohol consumption entirely while taking this medication

Ask your doctor about which herbs are safe to consume.  

Herbs are an additional dietary component to be careful with when taking Sertraline. Adverse reactions have been known to occur with the combination of herbs and this medication. Consuming St. John’s Wort with Sertraline can trigger serotonin syndrome and may reduce how well Sertraline works. Many herbs do not mix safely with Sertraline, so ask your doctor about the herbal foods to avoid when taking sertraline. 

Benefit from your medication and avoid adverse interactions. 

There are many foods to avoid when taking sertraline. Ask your doctor about the best dietary protocols to follow while taking Sertraline and abstain from foods that unsafely interact with your medication, according to your healthcare provider. By knowing which foods to avoid while taking Sertraline, you can benefit from your medication while preventing the likelihood of adverse food-related interactions