Patients who use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) such as Zoloft could be at an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding if they also take common painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen. SSRI use paired with the over-the-counter anti-inflammatories could increase potential risks for serious internal bleeding by as much as 600%.
Gastrointestinal bleeding, or UGIB, is often marked by stomach pain, throwing up blood and black stool, and can be fatal in some cases. UGIB is one of several SSRI and Zoloft side effects that have caused doctors and patients to reconsider the safety of taking the drugs under certain conditions.
Zoloft has been linked to several severe side effects, including birth defects among children born to women who use the drug during pregnancy. Zoloft birth defects include omphalocele, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), anencephaly, heart defects, brain defects and other congenital birth defects.