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Side effects of antidepressants

Antidepressants and the main characteristics

As their name says it, antidepressants are medications that are used for the treatment of depression, but for a number of other psychiatric conditions and mood and anxiety disorders, too. This group of medications consists of numerous kinds, and none of them should be used without a doctor’s prescription. Also, once a person begins to use them, it is very important to carefully follow the instructions and to take them exactly as prescribed because otherwise, serious problems and side effects may be caused. They work by affecting particular neurotransmitters.

Side effects of antidepressants

Having in mind the number of antidepressants that are available, the number of possible side effects of all of them together is also great. Still, the majority of them is only temporary, and they tend to disappear on their own after a while, because sometimes the body simply needs time to get used to their presence. On the other side, in case any of the newly experienced symptoms affects normal functioning, it is necessary to report it to the doctor who prescribed the medication. Each group of antidepressants has characteristic side effects, but here we will mention those that are related to groups most frequently prescribed.

  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors may provoke headaches, nausea, diarrhea, changes in the sex drive and impotence, but one of the most worrying side effects of this group is serotonin syndrome. Also, when talking about this group of medications, the symptoms of withdrawal will inevitably be experienced if the patient quits taking the medication all of a sudden. Instead, the dosage should be decreased slowly over a certain period of time, in order to avoid problems of this kind.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants usually provoke blurred vision, sleepiness, dizziness, tremors constipation and changes in the weight, but if any sexual problems are experienced while using this medication, they can also be attributed to it.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are used a lot less than earlier, but among adverse effects that have been reported with them are hepatitis, serious changes in the blood pressure and other heart-related problems such as stroke and heart attack. Also, headache may also be experienced, as well as insomnia.

Side effects of all the antidepressants together that do require medical attention refer to suicidal thoughts and hallucinations, aggressiveness, unusual changes in the behavior, pain in the chest, bleeding and bruising without any logical reason, and signs of allergic reaction.

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