Antidepressants can have a number of unwanted side effects. Some are minor while others are more severe. It is therefore important to discuss possible adverse reactions with your doctor or healthcare provider. In most cases, adverse reactions can be managed by reducing the dose or changing the dosing schedule. In rare cases, the patient may need to stop the antidepressant and try a different medication. Your physician can also recommend other treatments or help you manage the discomfort if the adverse reaction persists.
Many side effects occur within the first few weeks of starting antidepressant treatment. Nevertheless, many of these symptoms subside when the body gets used to the medication. For example, some patients may experience a headache or stomach upset. Others may not experience side effects at all or notice them only after a few weeks of treatment.
The most common antidepressant side effects are nausea and upset stomach. Approximately 17% to 26% of patients will experience nausea during the first few weeks of treatment. Up to 32% will continue to experience nausea and stomach discomfort for up to four weeks. These symptoms should not be ignored, however.
Another potential side effect of antidepressants is suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A person taking these drugs should consult with a physician if they have a history of suicidal behavior. Despite the risks, the benefits of antidepressant medications far outweigh the risk of any side effects.
There are several types of antidepressants and each type has different potential side effects. Work closely with your healthcare provider when choosing an antidepressant and inform them of any other medications, herbal supplements, or alcohol intake. It is important to be aware of any drug interactions to avoid serious side effects.
Insomnia and drowsiness are also common side effects of antidepressants. It’s important to make sure that you take your medication in the evening before bed and get plenty of rest. This side effect is caused by the antidepressant’s sedative effect.
Peter, 36 years old, suffers from panic attacks. His primary care doctor referred him for antidepressant therapy when things started to worsen. Earlier, he had been taking escitalopram, but the side effects got worse after he stopped taking it. At first, Peter refused to take the medication and eventually agreed to try another SSRI at the lowest dosage.
The iSPOT-D trial was a phase-IV multi-site, open-label trial designed to identify potential markers of treatment response. Participants were non-pregnant and antidepressant medication-naive. They were randomized to either escitalopram or venlafaxine extended-release, and contacted at day four, weeks two, and six. The trial was designed to eliminate a placebo arm.
The SSRIs are the most common antidepressants for treating depression. They increase levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. However, these antidepressants can have unwanted side effects, including weight gain and increased blood pressure. Some people may even experience sexual side effects while taking these medications.