What Are The Side Effects Of Antidepressant Medications
The provider prescribing your medicine will discuss its potential side effects with you. He or she will try to prescribe drug with the least number of side effects for your health condition. Sometimes, more than one medicine may be tried before the desired benefits are achieved.
You will be monitored closely so that your provider can detect the development of harmful side effects and make the necessary changes.
All medications not just antidepressants can cause side effects. Keep in mind that your provider prescribes the medication only if its expected benefits outweigh the risk of side effects.
Side effects, if they occur, are usually mild. Some side effects decrease after you have taken the drug for a while. However, if side effects don’t go away, they will once the drug is stopped. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your provider before taking any medicine.
Classes of antidepressant medications and common side effects
Currently there are six different classes of medications approved to treat depression. These are:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors .
- Serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors .
- Tricyclic antidepressants .
- Norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors .
- Non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Increased sweating.
Non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists
- Feeling drunk.
- Lack of energy.
How Is Major Depressive Disorder Diagnosed
The diagnosis of major depressive disorder in clinical practice is based on the presence of certain symptoms according to the diagnostic criteria outlined in either the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition or the International Classification of Diseases-10th Revision. These two sets of diagnostic criteria are largely comparable. The diagnosis of depression as it is defined by these diagnostic criteria does not build on any aetiological or pathophysiological framework. The assessment according to the diagnostic criteria might be supported by a structured interview, such as the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview or the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM. The conduct of these interviews may take 1560min. There are no objective tests and no laboratory test for depression or for validating the diagnosis.
How Do Antidepressants Work
There are five major classes of antidepressants, and they all work in different ways:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
- Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Atypical antidepressants
But the one thing all of these antidepressant medications have in common is that they increase the availability of monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain.
Monoamine neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, help regulate your mood, emotions, and behavior.
In people with depression, the availability of these monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain is characteristically low. Antidepressants work by preventing the reuptake of one or more of these neurotransmitters, thereby increasing their availability.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Antidepressants
Like all medications, antidepressants can have side effects. Over half of all people who take antidepressants have side effects. They usually occur during the first few weeks of treatment and are less common later on.
Some of these side effects are believed to be a direct consequence of the medication’s effect on the brain and are relatively similar among various drugs within the same group. Examples include a dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, restlessness and sexual problems. These kinds of problems are often perceived to be side effects of the medications. But some of them may be caused by the itself.
Whether or not someone has side effects, which side effects they have, and how frequent they are will depend on the drug, the dose used, and whether they have just started taking it or have been taking it for some time. And everyone reacts slightly differently to drugs too. The risk of side effects increases if you are also taking other medication. One of the drugs may make the side effects of the other worse. These kinds of drug interactions are common in older people and people with chronic illnesses who are taking several different kinds of medication.
For this reason, it’s important to thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of the various medications with your doctor.
Some side effects are more common with particular drugs:
How Long Will You Have To Take Antidepressants
Usually, these drugs must be taken regularly for at least 4 to 8 weeks before their full benefit takes effect. You are monitored closely during this time to detect the development of side effects and to determine the effectiveness of treatment.
In order to prevent a relapse of depression, medicines are generally prescribed for 6 to 12 months after a first-time depression. When you and your provider determine that you are better, you should expect to continue the medication for at least 4 to 6 additional months. After this, your provider may gradually taper you off your medicine.
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Best Antidepressant For Sexual Dysfunction: Wellbutrin
If you are worried about sexual dysfunction , then Wellbutrin should be considered as a first-line option. In addition to this drug being the best for losing or maintaining weight, it is also a medication that shouldnt affect your sex life. Thats because it works on norepinephrine as well as dopamine, without affecting serotonin levels. The increase in stimulation that you get from this drug could actually boost your interest in sex and sexual performance.
Keep in mind that Wellbutrin is not for anxiety, so if you have comorbid anxiety, youd likely need something with serotonin. Other drugs in the SNRI classes contain norepinephrine, which is thought to help balance out sexual dysfunction caused by serotonin reuptake inhibition. Unfortunately many people still experience sexual dysfunction with the SNRI class. If you dont want a drug to affect your sex life, its best to stay away from serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Waiting For Antidepressants That Dont Cause Weight Gain
Another criticism is that the researchers did not examine how antidepressants affect depression subtypes.5 The diagnosis of depression says nothing of the cause of depression, writes Gordon Parker, just as a diagnosis of major breathlessness does not specify whether breathlessness is caused by asthma or pneumonia.
Why does this matter? Because treatments helpful in some subtypes of depression may not be effective in other forms of depression .
In contrast to the view above, a 2015 paper found a very significant overlap in how people with different subtypes of depression respond to treatment the authors concluded, subtypes may be of minimal value in antidepressant selection .6
Aside from subtypes, another issue is the applicability of the reviews findings. One writer argues the findings of this meta-analysis do not make it easier to choose an antidepressant, given that the most effective medications were not necessarily the most acceptable ones, and the most effective one carries major overdose risks.7
Other researchers, like Parikh and Kennedy, have criticized the statistical method used in the study, noting that while it has many advantages, it does not allow for analysis at the individual patient level and so cannot provide finer detail on who might preferentially respond or who might be more vulnerable to side-effects .3
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Antidepressants Do They Work
As stated, antidepressants give your body a boost of specific chemicals that react with the hormones in you.
There are numerous studies surrounding this subject, and the goal of every expert is to find one that comes with the right blend of chemicals.
Some have honed in on the serotonin levels and believe that in order for the product to work, it must bring the levels back to normal.
While the meds can increase or lower serotonin levels within a matter of hours, it takes weeks before it can truly make a difference and handle depression itself.
Moreover, the kind of drug prescribed will differ from one person to the next. The doctor may give you the medicine based on the following:
- The Type of Depression you are Going Through If you feel as if you need an energy boost, then the antidepressant prescribed should stimulate your body. It also works the other way around. If, for instance, youve been losing sleep, then you might need one that comes with a sedative effect.
- The Side Effects You Need to Consider Talk to your doctor about your condition and see which brand your body responds to best.
- The Medicine that Works best Based on Your Medical History This is when you discuss your depression and whether or not it runs in your family. Doctors might even consider what worked best for a relative.
- The Way The Medicine Interacts with Other Drugs Give a list of medicines youre currently taking and see to it these dont disrupt anything.
There Is No Best Treatment For Depression
If I asked thousands of people what the best antidepressant is, there probably wouldnt be one clear-cut answer. One person may say laughter, while another may say exercise, and third person may say Prozac. Theres really no one utopia when it comes to treating depression. For this reason Ive always thought that using a single approach to treat depression is not usually the best solution. The best solution is targeting the depression holistically, focusing on making positive changes in all areas of life that could be contributing to the problem.
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What Type Of Future Research Is Needed
Based on current evidence, antidepressants seem to offer more harms than benefits. Large randomised clinical trials at low risk of bias, including the use of active placebo should be conducted. In addition to assessing depressive symptoms and quality of life, harmful effects should be systematically assessed, including long-term follow-up. Such trials should be powered to confirm or reject that antidepressants increase the risk of suicides, hospitalisation, risk of death and so on .
What Is The Best Antidepressant
When it comes to depression, most people are looking for a treatment that allows them to feel happier, while minimizing potential side effects. There are many antidepressants on the market, and while some may work slightly better than others, most research indicates that the efficacy among approved drugs is very similar. If you are looking to find the best antidepressant, it is important to realize that there is no utopian treatment it is up to you to find what is most effective for you.
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What Should You Consider When Deciding Whether Or Not To Take Antidepressants
Whether antidepressants are an option will depend on things like the severity of the symptoms. Other aspects can also play a role in the decision:
- Are you going to psychotherapy or are you planning to?
- Have you taken antidepressants before and did they help?
- How bad do you think the potential side effects are compared to the possible benefits?
It only makes sense to use antidepressants if the is correct. Specialists believe that some people are prescribed antidepressants unnecessarily. The fact that a lot more people take antidepressants nowadays suggests that this is true. They are sometimes already prescribed for milder symptoms, even though it’s not clear whether they help in mild .
But it’s still important to make sure that severe is diagnosed and treated properly. Antidepressants can be helpful here, and for some people may be the only way that they can get back into a daily routine or start going to psychotherapy.
The Best Antidepressants For Anxiety
There are different symptoms associated with anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy, exercise, and medications are all options that can benefit patients depending on their symptoms.
The combination of these three elements and the sequence in which they are required may differ from person to person.
When it comes to antidepressants, Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the most commonly used medication for anxiety disorders.
In this section, we will list our picks for the best anxiety medications. With the help of your healthcare provider, you can make the right decision about anxiety medication.
The best antidepressants for anxiety are:
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How Patients Were Involved In The Creation Of This Article
We invited a patient who had previously suffered from depression and received treatment as both an inpatient and in an outpatient clinical as well as in primary care to contribute to the article. The patient has been taking antidepressants for 2years.
The patient representative specified that it should not be expected that patients with depression have the skills to interpret the validity of research results. Hence, if any treatment for depression should be implemented, then unambiguous valid evidence should have shown that this intervention offers more benefits than harms.
The patient representative was familiar with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and would consider a small improvement on the HDRS of relevance compared with an alternative treatment provided the harms associated with the treatment did not outweigh the benefit.
After discussing the article with the patient representative, we included more information about the potential adverse effects of antidepressants and balancing benefits and harms.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a commonly prescribed class of antidepressants. Taking these drugs doesnt cause significant side effects, even at higher dosages. They can help to alleviate mild to moderate depression.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs as theyre commonly referred to, target only serotonin. These antidepressants prevent serotonin from getting absorbed back into neurons.
Consequently, this increases the brains supply of available serotonin, enhancing a persons mood and outlook on life.
The effect of SSRIs on anxiety is often described as turning down the volume on anxious thoughts.
It may have similar or higher effects to practicing mindfulness and participating in psychotherapy.
Apart from reducing physiological symptoms of depression and anxiety , SSRIs may also reduce psychological symptoms.
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Discussion And Clinical Applicability
The review found that the combination of an antidepressant plus an antipsychotic is more effective in psychotic depression than antidepressant monotherapy, antipsychotic monotherapy or placebo. The limited evidence available also shows no benefit of antipsychotic alone or antidepressant alone over placebo.
The conclusions are limited, as they are based on only 12 studies, with a small number of antidepressants and antipsychotics used. Thus, it is not clear whether the conclusions can be extrapolated to other medications within the same class. For example, the evidence that the combination of antidepressant and antipsychotic is more effective than antidepressant alone has been obtained only for the combination of venlafaxine and quetiapine v. venlafaxine alone . The evidence that the combination is more effective than an antipsychotic alone has been obtained in RCTs for two antipsychotics: perphenazine with/without amitriptyline and olanzapine with/without fluoxetine and with/without sertraline .
How Long Will It Take For Them To Take Effect
According to the United Kingdoms National Health Service , people may begin to feel the benefits of the antidepressants after 12 weeks if the person has not missed a dose.
Some people may stop taking them because they believe the medications are not working. However, it is important to keep taking the medication exactly as their doctor has prescribed.
If a person has not felt any benefit after 4 weeks, they should speak with a doctor.
According to the NHS, doctors will typically suggest a person takes antidepressants for at least 6 months.
People should take their antidepressants exactly as their doctor has prescribed.
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Do Antidepressants Induce Euphoria
Antidepressants dont make you feel high or euphoric. They simply helprestore realistic balance to your emotional responses.
Once youve started taking antidepressants, you will suddenly notice how minor things which may have normally bothered you a little bit to a significant degree arent affecting you anymore.
This is because the chemicals in these types of medications combat hypersensitivity and anxiety. Therefore, the drugs can improve your perceptions of others and allow for a better relationship due to feeling less overly bothered by everyday social triggers.
The social anxiety triggers can be overcome with professional guidance- Click below to schedule your appointment with a mental health professional
Finding The Best Medication To Treat Depression
Theres no magic equation when it comes to identifying the best antidepressant for you.
You can get depression medicine online to get diagnosed and determine if medication will be the best course of treatment.
From there, your healthcare provider will take into consideration your depression symptoms, other medical issues you may have and any other prescription drugs you are taking . They may then prescribe you medication.
You should feel free to ask any questions you may have like about common side effects, if there is potential risk involved, alternative treatments for depression, and more.
Research has shown that the different antidepressants work as well as one another. However, people react differently to the various medications.
For this reason, you may have to try a few different medications before landing on one that works best for you.
As previously mentioned, you should give the medication you’re taking at least a month to see if it works.
If it doesnt, its important not to stop taking your medication suddenly, as that can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Instead, speak to your healthcare provider to discuss the best approach for coming off one medication and trying another.
You should also call your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any bothersome side effects from taking prescription antidepressants.
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How Long To Treat
Most trials and reviews have only assessed short-term effects of antidepressants. The long-term effects of antidepressants are unclear. There are very few data on the long-term effects of antidepressants . A recently published review assessing results after 24 weeks showed that the longer-term effects of antidepressants seem as small as the short-term effects. A clinical practice guideline from NICE showed similar results . It is possible that long-term treatment with antidepressants may even worsen outcomes. Given the absence of evidence for benefits, there is thus no supporting evidence for long-term treatment with antidepressants.