Side effects of Antidepressants: How to Cope?

Side-effects of Antidepressants: How to Cope With Side-effects of Antidepressants?
Side-effects of Antidepressants: How to Cope With Side-effects of Antidepressants?

Almost all antidepressants have certain side effects. If you are taking meds and you are suffering from side effects of antidepressants, this article will help you cope with them.

It is important to know and understand:

  • In most cases side effects are temporary and go away in several weeks after starting treatment with antidepressants.
  • Some of the side effects of antidepressants persist, but you can always learn how to deal with them.
  • If you can not cope with the side effects, your doctor may reduce the dose or change it.
  • Do not stop taking antidepressants suddenly. This can make symptoms worse and lead to repeated bouts of depression.
  • You should be aware of all serious side effects of antidepressants, such as chest pain or an acute allergic reaction, and when they appear you should see your doctor immediately.
  • Depression
  • Depression in children and adolescents
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

What are the side effects of antidepressants?

Side effects of each type are different, however, the most common are:

  • side effects of antidepressants Sexual problemsNausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Sexual problems (loss of interest in sex or erectile dysfunction)
  • Headaches
  • Sleeping problems (it is difficult to fall asleep or frequent awakenings during the night)
  • Sleepiness all day long

Most side effects are temporary and will go away after the first week of taking an antidepressant. However, some of them (for example, dry mouth, constipation, and sexual problems) may bother you for a long period of time. If you have any questions about your medications, consult your doctor.

Different antidepressants cause different side effects. Examine the leaflet of such antidepressants:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil.
  • Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil, Pamelor, Maprotiline.
  • Atypical antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin, Effexor, and Remeron.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as Nardil, Marplan, and Parnate.

Why should I continue to take antidepressants if they cause side effects?

side effects of antidepressantsMost antidepressants cause minor side effects, which often disappear in the first weeks of taking medication. If you continue to take antidepressants, soon you will feel better and side effects will go away after some period of time. Some patients believe that the positive result of antidepressants is worth it to suffer from minor discomfort caused by side effects.

If the side effects continue to bother you, consult your doctor. Maybe you just need to change the dose or type of antidepressant.

If you are going to change the medication, in any case, you can not stop taking this antidepressant suddenly. It may cause the reoccurrence of symptoms or repeated bouts of depression. Only your doctor can change an antidepressant. You will need to reduce the dose gradually before starting a new drug.

How to cope with side effects of antidepressants?

Learn how you can ease the side effects of medications:

Constipation
  • Try to eat bran cereal and whole grains, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, such as apples, prunes, beans, and broccoli.
  • Drink plenty of water.
Daytime Sleepiness
  • This problem will go away when your body adapts to the drug.
  • Ask your doctor about the possibility of taking the medicine before bedtime.
  • Do not drive if you feel sleepy.
Diarrhea
  • Consume healthy, low-fat products, such as applesauce, yogurt, and rice.
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods until you feel relief.
Tremor
  • Try to get out of bed or chair slowly.
Dry mouth
  • Always have unsweetened chewing gum or candy.
  • Always have some water to drink.
Headaches
  • This problem will go away when your body adapts to the drug.
  • Ask your doctor what pain relievers you can take.
Loss of appetite
  • Try to eat little but often. Always have some food to snack between meals.
  • Try to eat your favorite foods.
  • Before having a breakfast, lunch, supper go for a walk. It helps to feel hunger.
Nausea
  • Eat often, but small portions throughout the day, rather than two or three times a day, but large portions.
  • Carry with you mints or gum. Mint will help soothe your stomach.
The feeling of irritability
  • This problem will vanish soon.
  • If you still experience irritability, speak with your doctor about the possibility to reduce the dose of the drug.
Sexual problems
  • Talk with your doctor about the possibility of reducing the dose of medication.
  • Ask your doctor about the possibility to change the medication.
Sleeping problems
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
  • Do not engage in physical activities or exercises in the afternoon, especially in the evening.
  • Make sure that atmosphere in your room is quiet and cool. Use sleep mask or earplugs.
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