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Anti Depression Medication Side Effects

Fluoxetine May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

Depression Medication
  • nervousness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • nausea
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • loss of appetite
  • seizures
  • abnormal bleeding or bruising

Fluoxetine may decrease appetite and cause weight loss in children. Your child’s doctor will watch his or her growth carefully. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have concerns about your child’s growth or weight while he or she is taking this medication. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of giving fluoxetine to your child.

Fluoxetine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

Do I Need This Treatment

If you are distressed for more than two weeks by feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness, or by excessive worry that is hard to control, see a doctor for an assessment of your symptoms and situation and to discuss treatment and support options. Early treatment can help to ensure treatment success.

Be sure your doctor knows if you have had times where you felt a reduced need for sleep in combination with an unusual amount of energy, or where your mood changed from feeling depressed to feeling unusually happy or irritable. Mood stabilizer medications may be more suited to your needs, either on their own or in combination with antidepressants. Antidepressants alone can cause some people to switch from depression into mania.

Medications are only one way of treating depression and anxiety. Talk therapies, such as interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy, can be just as effective. Peer support, school and job counselling, and housing and employment supports can also help to deal with problems that may trigger or worsen depression or anxiety.

Request A Dose Adjustment Or Change In Medication

Usually, a dose adjustment or change in medication will be recommended by your doctor if that is the best course of action. However, it does not hurt to ask whether taking either of these actions would help to alleviate your symptoms.

If you do end up changing medications, this will be done under the supervision of your doctor to avoid unwanted withdrawal effects. Its important to never stop taking any medication without the advice of your doctor.

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What Are The Types Of Antidepressants

Antidepressants are prescription medications that treat the symptoms of clinical depression, some anxiety disorders, seasonal affective disorder, and dysthymia . All of them work by correcting chemical imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain that are associated with changes in mood and behavior.

Different antidepressants target different neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system, says Justin Hall, MD, a clinical psychiatrist with Spectrum Behavioral Health in Annapolis, Maryland. Serotonin is the most commonly targeted neurotransmitter that has been associated with anxiety and depression.

Serotonin is targeted because it is the neurotransmitter that is most commonly associated with depression. This chemical has a wide variety of functions in the human body. Many doctors and laypeople call it the happy chemical, because it is known to increase happiness and a sense of wellbeing. But it can also affect your digestion, bowel movements, memory, sleep, and many other factors.

The classes of antidepressant drugs include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
  • Serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor
  • Atypical antidepressant

Each of these classes, and even the drugs within them, affect the levels of various neurotransmitters to a different degree, says Alam Hallan, Pharm.D., director of pharmacy for Guelph General Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

How Should This Medicine Be Used

Depression and suicide risk are side effects of more than ...

Fluoxetine comes as a capsule, a tablet, a delayed-release capsule, and a solution to take by mouth. Fluoxetine may be taken with or without food. Fluoxetine comes as a capsule to take by mouth. Fluoxetine capsules, tablets, and liquid are usually taken once a day in the morning or twice a day in the morning and at noon. Fluoxetine delayed-released capsules are usually taken once a week. Fluoxetine is usually taken once a day, either every day of the month or on certain days of the month. Take fluoxetine at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take fluoxetine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the delayed-release capsules whole do not cut, crush, or chew them.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of fluoxetine and gradually increase your dose.

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What Causes Depression Medications To Stop Working

Multiple factors can change the way your body responds to an antidepressant, including:

  • Drug or alcohol use. Illicit drug use and alcohol can cause strong mood changes, which can make antidepressants ineffective.
  • Pregnancy. Your body’s weight and blood volume increase when you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor about taking antidepressants while pregnant, and about potentially adjusting your dosage to continue relieving symptoms.
  • New stressors. A new stressful situation at home or work can result in a mood response for which the antidepressant can’t compensate.
  • Other medications. Interactions between antidepressants and medications for other health conditions can affect how well an antidepressant works.

Most often, though, antidepressants stop working for what seems to be no reason. “There’s no good research that shows why a medication may stop working for someone,” says Nestadt. “I think it’s less an issue of building up tolerance and more likely constantly changing stressors and factors in the brain.”

Depression Medications And Side Effects


Treatment for major depressive disorder depends on the individual and the severity of the illness. However, doctors often discover the best results when both prescription medications, such as antidepressants, and psychotherapy are used in combination.

Currently, more than two-dozen antidepressant medications are available.

Antidepressants are successful in treating depression, but no single medication has been shown to be the most effective it depends entirely on the patient and their individual circumstances. Youll have to take the medication regularly for several weeks in order to see results and observe any side effects.

Here are the most frequently prescribed antidepressant medicines and their most common side effects.

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How To Stop Antidepressant Treatment

Do not stop using an antidepressant or reduce your dose on your own. Your doctor or health care provider will work with you when the time is right to stop taking your antidepressant.

When you stop taking an antidepressant, you may have discontinuation symptoms, or your depression may come back. Discontinuation symptoms may include:

  • dizziness or vertigo
  • tingling or electric shock sensations
  • unsteady gait
  • nausea
  • crying spells
  • irritability

These symptoms do not mean you are addicted to the antidepressant. Antidepressants are not considered addictive and do not lead to drug abuse . But because your body has gotten used to them, suddenly stopping can cause unwanted side effects. In rare cases, it can be difficult to stop taking an antidepressant even with gradual tapering of use.

Instead of stopping antidepressants all at once, it is important to work with your health care provider to decrease your dose a little at a time, when the time is right.

How Well Can Antidepressants Prevent Relapses

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Antidepressants are usually taken for one to two years, and sometimes longer, to prevent relapses. Relapse prevention may be a good idea for people who

  • have already had several relapses,
  • absolutely want to avoid a relapse, or
  • have chronic .

Studies involving adults have shown that taking commonly used antidepressants such as TCAs, SSRIs or SNRIs can lower the risk of relapses, but can’t completely prevent them:

  • Without preventive treatment: About 50 out of 100 people who took a placebo had a relapse within one to two years.
  • With preventive treatment: About 23 out of 100 people who took an antidepressant had a relapse within one to two years.

In other words, taking an antidepressant over a long period of time successfully prevented a relapse in an average of 27 out of 100 people.

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Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:

  • MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
  • KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.


Palpitations & Cardiac Issues

Palpitations are an awareness that the heart is beating harder or faster than normal, or that it is skipping a beat. It may also feel like a fluttering sensation in the chest. Although very unsettling, palpitations are usually harmless.

However, most psychotropic drugs including antidepressants can also have direct effects on the electrical conduction of the heart, especially by lengthening the QT interval. This can be a problem if the dose is increased, or in those people who were born with longer QT intervals to begin with. It is also an issue when a person is put on a combination of drugs where each drug has this effect, leading to a dangerous increase.

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What Other Information Should I Know

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Before having any laboratory test , tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking fluoxetine.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Depression: How Effective Are Antidepressants

Long Term Effects Of Antidepressants

Like psychotherapy, antidepressants are a key part of treating . They aim to relieve symptoms and prevent depression from coming back.

Opinions vary on how effective antidepressants are in relieving the symptoms of . Some people doubt that they work well, while others consider them to be essential. But, like with many other treatments, these medications may help in some situations and not in others. They are effective in moderate, severe and chronic depression, but probably not in mild cases. They can also have side effects. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of antidepressants with your doctor.

The main aim of treatment with antidepressants is to relieve the symptoms of severe , such as feeling very down and exhausted, and prevent them from coming back. They are meant to make you feel emotionally stable again and help you to follow a normal daily routine. They are also taken to relieve symptoms such as restlessness, anxiety and sleep problems, and to prevent suicidal thoughts.

This information is about using medication to treat the most common form of , known as unipolar depression. The treatment options for manic depression aren’t discussed here.

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Use Your Medicine Safely

  • Read the label and take antidepressant medicine exactly as directed. Do not skip doses. Find out from your doctor or pharmacist what to do if you miss a dose.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking antidepressants. Talk to your health care provider, who will come up with a plan to reduce your dose slowly when the time is right.
  • Report side effects to your health care provider, and to Health Canada’s MedEffect website.
  • Store antidepressants and all other drugs in a safe place, out of the reach of children and teenagers.
  • Never share your prescription with anyone else.
  • Drugs should never be thrown out at home . Bring any unused medication back to the pharmacy for safe disposal.

Health Canada strongly advises against taking any prescription drug that has not been prescribed for you by your health care professional.

How Effective Are Antidepressants

Most people benefit from taking antidepressants to some degree, but research suggests antidepressants may not be as effective as previously thought in cases of mild depression.

However, they’re the most effective treatment in relieving symptoms quickly, particularly in cases of severe depression.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates that 50-65% of people treated with an antidepressant for depression will see an improvement, compared to 25-30% of those taking inactive “dummy” pills . This means that most people do benefit from antidepressants, even if it’s sometimes a result of the placebo effect.

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If You Feel Better Can You Stop Taking Antidepressants

Once you and your provider have determined it is safe for you to stop taking your medicine altogether, you should continue to be monitored during periodic follow-up appointments to detect any signs of depression returning.

Long-term treatment with antidepressant medicine may be recommended to prevent further episodes of depression in people who have already had two or more episodes of major depression. A history of depression in ones family is another factor that supports long-term treatment.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/24/2019.


Serious Side Effects Of Antidepressants

Depression or IBD medication side effects

Thus far, all of the common side effects weve discussed are relatively harmless, even if they are bothersome. There are, however, a few very rare, but also very serious, side effects that may occur when taking antidepressants. They include suicide, serotonin syndrome, and hyponatremia.

Fortunately, these dangerous side effects are very uncommon, and the risks are greatest in the first month of treatment.

Thoughts of suicide

For the most part, antidepressants help reduce all symptoms of depression, including suicidality. However, a small number of vulnerable patientsusually young adultsexperience a high risk of increased suicidal ideations.

According to Dr. Hallan, this only happens in very specific scenarios. For example, a severely depressed person who is unmedicated might be experiencing suicidal thoughts. But his depression symptoms almost protect him from acting on those thoughts because they also cause him to feel extreme fatigue and loss of energy. Once he begins treatment, his energy and fatigue might improve just enough to give him the energy to follow through on his suicidal ideations.

In order to avoid this side effect, you should share any suicidal thoughts you have had with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment.

Serotonin syndrome

If you experience these symptoms while taking an antidepressant, seek medical help immediately. They will discontinue your meds, give reversal agents, and help to manage your symptoms.


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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Are there any medical conditions that could be causing my depression?
  • What are the side effects and risks of the antidepressant you are recommending?
  • Are there any foods or other substances I will need to avoid?
  • How will this drug interact with other prescriptions Im taking?
  • How long will I have to take this medication?
  • Will withdrawing from the drug be difficult?
  • Will my depression return when I stop taking medication?

Medication isnt your only option for depression relief

Remember, antidepressants arent a cure. Medication may treat some symptoms of depression, but cant change the underlying issues and situations in your life that are making you depressed. Thats where exercise, therapy, mindfulness meditation, social support and other lifestyle changes come in. These non-drug treatments can produce lasting changes and long-term relief.

What Are Antidepressants Used For

Antidepressants help to relieve the symptoms of depression such as low mood, irritability, feelings of worthlessness, restlessness, anxiety, and difficulty in sleeping.

In addition to depression, certain antidepressants may also be used to treat a range of other conditions, for example:

It is important to note that not all antidepressants are used to treat the conditions mentioned above.

Antidepressants generally provide some relief of symptoms within one to two weeks however, it may take six to eight weeks of treatment before the full effects are seen.

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Path To Improved Health

Your doctor will consider many factors when choosing the antidepressant medicine to give you. He or she will think about the following:

Keep in mind that antidepressant medicines arent tranquilizers or uppers. You wont get a high when you take them. Also, theyre not addictive.

Youll know if your antidepressant is working based on how you feel. Youll be able to sleep better. Youll have more energy to meet your day-to-day obligations. You can take care of yourself. Your appetite will be closer to normal. Youll have an increased desire to engage in life. You and your family and friends will notice these changes. Be patient, though. It may take some time to get back to the way you felt before the depression.

It is important to remember that antidepressants can help with symptoms of depression. These medicines work best when you try to have an active lifestyle with exercise, get eight hours of sleep a night, and eat healthy foods. Your doctor may also recommend working with a counselor to help you improve the thoughts of depression.

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