Antidepressant-induced sweating

Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Apr;39(4):748-52. doi: 10.1345/aph.1E564. Epub 2005 Feb 22.


Objective: To report a case of excessive sweating probably caused by paroxetine, review the literature on antidepressant-induced sweating, and provide recommendations for the management of antidepressant-induced sweating.

Case summary: A 59-year-old white female presented to a pharmacist-staffed pharmacotherapy clinic with episodes of excessive sweating. The episodes occurred primarily on her head and back of the neck. Other etiologies were ruled out and paroxetine was discontinued. Paroxetine had been initiated at least 7 months prior to the reporting of symptoms. Sweating symptoms gradually improved until resolution 5 weeks following discontinuation of paroxetine. The Naranjo probability scale indicated a causal relationship is probable.

Discussion: Excessive sweating has been associated with antidepressants including tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors, and venlafaxine. In some patients, these symptoms require therapeutic intervention such as dose reduction, antidepressant substitution, antidepressant discontinuation, or addition of an agent to control sweating. Agents that have been reported successful in controlling the sweating include benztropine and cyproheptadine.

Conclusions: We recommend a patient-specific approach for the management of antidepressant-induced sweating. First, consider dose reduction or a trial off antidepressant medication. In patients in whom this is inappropriate or ineffective, substitution of another antidepressant should be considered. If episodes of excessive sweating persist, consider treatment of sweating symptoms with benztropine or cyproheptadine in the absence of contraindications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Sweating / drug effects*
  • Sweating / physiology


  • Antidepressive Agents