Abstract Visceral hypersensitivity may contribute to symptoms in functional dyspepsia. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be beneficial in functional gastrointestinal disorders. The aim of this study was to determine whether the SSRI sertraline affects gastric sensitivity and compliance in healthy humans. Ten healthy humans completed a 6-week randomized, double-blind, crossover trial of sertraline (50 mg day−1) vs. placebo. After each 2-week treatment, fullness, pain and nausea were rated at increasing gastric barostat distending pressures. Sensation thresholds above minimal distending pressure (MDP) were determined with a tracking method. Somatic sensory testing was performed by hand immersion in ice water. No differences were found between sertraline and placebo for symptoms as a function of distending pressure (fullness, P = 0.72; pain, P = 0.79; nausea, P = 0.41), gastric compliance (P = 0.15), median and interquartile range thresholds for first sensation [4.1 (3.5–5.7) vs. 6.2 (3.3–10.0) mmHg above MDP, P = 0.19] and pain [15.2 (8.3–21.0) vs. 15.3 (10.3–19.8) mmHg above MDP, P = 0.85], and median tolerance times for hand ice water immersion [27 (19–99) vs. 29 (20–180) s, P = 0.73]. In conclusion, sertraline had no effect on gastric sensitivity or compliance, or somatic pain tolerance in healthy humans. Studies are needed to assess the effects of SSRIs on visceral sensation and clinical symptoms in patients with functional dyspepsia.