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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Depression: Dealing With Medicine Side Effects
Side effects are a common problem for
people who take antidepressants. If you are bothered by side effects, reading
this information can help you learn more about how to cope with them.
effects may vary depending on the medicine you take, but common ones include:
Most side effects are temporary and will go away after you
take the medicine for a few weeks. But some (such as dry mouth, constipation,
and sexual problems) may continue. If you have questions or concerns about your
medicines, talk to your doctor.
Different medicines may cause
different side effects. Learn more about the side effects of:
Some side effects will last the whole time you are
Some side effects, such as dry mouth,
constipation and sexual problems, may last the whole time you are taking
antidepressants. But most side effects are temporary and will go away after a
few weeks. If you have questions or concerns about your medicines, talk to your
Continue to Why?
Most antidepressants cause minor side effects that go
away or improve in the first few weeks of treatment. If you keep taking your
medicine, there is a good chance that you will start to feel less depressed and
the side effects will decrease. Most people feel that the benefits of
antidepressants are well worth the price of living with some side effects.
If the side effects continue to bother you, talk to your doctor.
You might be able to try a different dosage or a different medicine.
Even if you are going to change medicines, you should not suddenly quit
taking your current antidepressant. That could cause withdrawal symptoms or
make your depression come back. Work with your doctor to make the switch
safely. This may require slowly reducing the dose of the old medicine before
you start the new medicine.
If the side effects bother you, you should just quit
taking your medicine.
Unless you have serious side effects, don't
stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first. If you suddenly
quit taking your medicine, you could have withdrawal symptoms or your
depression could come back.
Continue to How?
Try these tips to help you manage some of the common side effects of
Serious side effects don't happen often, but you
should be aware of them. Call your doctor right away if
you or anyone who takes antidepressants has:
You need to be very careful about using other
medicines when you are taking antidepressants.
Tell your doctor about any medicines you take
regularly, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbs. Even common
medicines such as aspirin and some vitamins and herbs can cause problems if you
use them while you are taking antidepressants.
Continue to Where?
Now that you have read this
information, you know more about how to manage the side effects of
If you have questions about this information,
print it out and take it with you when you visit your doctor. You may want to
use a highlighter to mark areas or make notes on the pages where you have
Return to topic:
Other Works Consulted
National Institute of Mental Health (2010, reprinted 2012). Mental Health Medications (NIH Publication No. 12-3929). Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Mental Health. Available online: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/index.shtml.
January 11, 2013
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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