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Depression: Dealing With Medicine Side Effects


Table of Contents


Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.   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.

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  What side effects can antidepressants cause?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Why should you keep taking an antidepressant if it causes side effects?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  How to manage the side effects of antidepressants
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Where to go from here

What? - What is the medical information or key concepts related to the action?  What side effects can antidepressants cause?

Side 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:

Test Your Knowledge

  1. Some side effects will last the whole time you are taking antidepressants.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      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 doctor.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      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 doctor.


Why? - Why the action is important?  Why should you keep taking an antidepressant if it causes side effects?

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.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. If the side effects bother you, you should just quit taking your medicine.

    1. True

      This answer is incorrect.

      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.

    2. False

      This answer is correct.

      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.


How? - Learn the steps involved in taking action.  How to manage the side effects of antidepressants

Common side effects

Try these tips to help you manage some of the common side effects of antidepressants.

Constipation
Daytime drowsiness
Diarrhea
Dizziness
Dry mouth
Headaches
Loss of appetite
Nausea
Feeling nervous or on edge
Sexual problems
Sleep problems

Serious side effects

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:

Cautions

Test Your Knowledge

  1. You need to be very careful about using other medicines when you are taking antidepressants.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      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.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      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.


Where? - Other resources and organizations that can help you take action.  Where to go from here

Now that you have read this information, you know more about how to manage the side effects of antidepressants.

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 questions.

References

Other Works Consulted

Credits for Depression: Dealing With Medicine Side Effects

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised January 11, 2013

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