Can I Drive When Taking Antidepressants
Some antidepressants can affect your ability to drive. You may feel drowsy from your medication, which can affect your reaction time. If your antidepressants make you drowsy you should not drive.
You should tell the DVLA if you are taking medication that may affect your driving. You should also tell them if you have a medical condition that could affect your driving.
You can find out more information about Driving and mental illness by clicking here.
Alternative Treatments For Depression And Anxiety
Some people get better with psychological therapy alone. Others find it best to use a combination of antidepressants and psychological therapy.
There are many different psychological therapies. The most common is cognitive behavioural therapy. This therapy aims to identify and change your negative thoughts.
Other types of therapy aim to get you to accept your thoughts and environment in a non-judgemental way, or help you change patterns of behaviour that are not helpful.
Talk to your doctor about options for treatment. You might be eligible for a mental health care plan, which reduces the cost of treatment.
There are other things that help your anxiety and depression.
- Exercise can help improve your mood and self-esteem as well as reducing the risk of weight gain .
- If you smoke, quitting reduces depression, anxiety and stress, and improves mood.
Your Depression Is Gone
If youve been taking an antidepressant for at least six months and youve achieved remission, its important to slowly taper off your depression medications with the help of your physician. Antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , can produce physical symptoms of withdrawal if you stop taking them suddenly, he says. So, you need to reduce the dosage of depression medication slowly, usually over a few weeks.
You may experience some depressive symptoms when discontinuing antidepressants, but this does not mean the depression is returning. Unfortunately, some people stay on their antidepressants longer than needed because the symptoms of discontinuing SSRIs can be mistaken for signs of returning depression.
Work with your doctor to distinguish between the two. You may need to go even slower than a few weeks when tapering off your antidepressant to prevent these withdrawal symptoms.
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Doctors Can Help With Antidepressant Side Effects
Most antidepressants are well tolerated, but side effects are a possibility. When first starting antidepressants, some people have mild stomach upset, headache or fatigue, but these side effects often diminish in the first few weeks as the body adjusts. Some people gain weight, though many stay weight neutral, and some even lose weight, Dr. Cox says.
Problems with sexual desire or function are fairly common, but this isnt inevitable or irreparable, she says.
A lot of patients feel nervous talking about that with their provider, but I want people to feel free to talk to me about that, she says. There are things we can do to help, such as adding a low dose of another medication.
What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Also visit the online treatment locator.
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You Can’t Imagine Going On Like This
When you get to the place where you truly can’t imagine living the rest of your life in this kind of agony, where breathing feels painful, it might be time to try antidepressants.
Even if your depression is rooted in trauma, like mine partially is.
I couldn’t even confront the trauma I had experienced before I started taking antidepressants.
I was too deep in the sadness, and I wasn’t able to look at my life from a distance and analyze what was causing me so much pain.
When I finally went on Lexapro, I was finally able to get to work and dig up the deep-rooted issues that had been holding me back.
Again, this is just my experience. Medication saved my life.
But, that’s just my story. Yours might be totally different.
We’re all wired so differently that it’s crazy to think that ONE thing will work for everyone.
So, let go of the stigma about mental illness, antidepressants, therapy, whatever.
You’re not weak. It’s not in your control. And babes, you’re definitely not alone.
About 43.8 million Americans experience mental illness.
So, release yourself from the shackles of shame.
I think we should be proud of our struggles. They’ve made us the multifaceted, amazing individuals we are today.
They’re a testament to our strength and taught us that we can survive.
Does Alcohol Affect My Antidepressants
Drinking alcohol while taking antidepressants is not advised because alcohol can make depression worse. It can also increase the side effects of some antidepressants, like drowsiness, dizziness, and co-ordination problems.
To avoid alcohol-related harm, the NHS recommends that you should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week. It’s best to spread this evenly over three or more days.
You should not drink certain wines or beers if you are taking MAOIs. You should ask your pharmacist or doctor for more information.
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What Can I Do To Take Antidepressants Safely
Antidepressants are generally safe when you use them correctly:
- Tell your provider about everything you take. That includes medicines, herbs, supplements, and over-the-counter medicines you take, such as pain relievers and decongestants. Be honest about recreational drugs and alcohol, too.
- Try to get all your medicines from the same pharmacy. That way the pharmacist can warn you and your provider if you take medicines that may cause problems when used together.
- Follow all instructions about how to take your medicine.
- Talk with your provider if side effects bother you.
- Never stop taking antidepressants without your provider’s help. Stopping too fast may make depression come back. You could even make your condition worse. To stop antidepressants safely, you need to give your body time to get used to being without the medicine. Your provider can tell you the safest way to go off an antidepressant.
NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
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What Side Effects Do Antidepressants Have
Like all medicines, antidepressants may have side effects. For most people, the side effects are not bad enough that they need to stop taking the medication.
Different people may experience different side effects, so itâs important to talk to your doctor about your personal situation. Some people experience no side effects at all.
Side effects differ between antidepressants. Some side effects may include:
- weight gain
If you experience a side effect from an antidepressant, itâs important to let your doctor know. It may be possible to reduce side effects by changing the dose or the time of day the medicine is taken. Some people may need to switch to another antidepressant due to side effects.
Many antidepressants can interact with other medicines. Anybody taking antidepressants needs to make sure their doctor and pharmacist know what other medicines they are taking, including any complementary or alternative therapies.
There are links between antidepressants and suicidal thoughts and behaviours in young people. But sometimes the need for antidepressants outweighs the risk of taking the medicines. The decision to prescribe antidepressants for young people is one that should be taken with great care.
Antidepressants Will Make Me Sick To My Stomach
Most antidepressants do not cause an upset stomach once you and your provider have settled on a fixed dosage. SSRIs cause higher rates of nausea than bupropion and mirtazapine, and rates between SSRIs and trazodone and duloxetine are about the same. Venlafaxine is known for causing nausea more often than SSRIs.
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Before Taking Pills For A Temporary Situation Consider The Risks
You might think that using an antidepressant temporarily could help you weather a challenging time, such as a period of grief, extreme stress, or serious illness. But you shouldn’t just jump into taking an antidepressant, cautions Dr. Jane Erb, psychiatric director of the Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care Program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“There’s no evidence that taking an antidepressant in the short term will help or that it will prevent longer-term consequences of stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder,” she says.
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How To Find Treatment Near You
The first step in getting treatment for depression is making an appointment with your general practitioner. They can recommend doctors in your area.
If youre religious, ask your religious leader if they have counselors to recommend. Some people prefer faith-based counseling, which incorporates their religion into a treatment plan.
You can also check healthcare databases for therapists, psychiatrists, and counselors. These databases can provide you with information such as certifications, accepted insurance providers, and reviews left by other people. You can start with these databases:
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Things You Might Not Know About Antidepressants
Taking an antidepressant is incredibly commonmore than 1 in 10 Americans do.
But despite their prevalence, these drugs are often misunderstood, in part because of stereotypes and stigma around mental health. That may keep some people who could benefit from an antidepressant from learning more, says UNC Health psychiatrist Elizabeth Cox, MD.
Medication is an important part of treatment. Therapy is also extremely important, and I recommend therapy to pretty much 100 percent of my patients, she says. But sometimes it can be difficult to participate in the therapy , or the therapy itself might not be enough.
Here are eight important things to know about antidepressants:
How Well Do Antidepressants Work
Most people are able to find an antidepressant that helps their depression. But you may have to try a few before you find one that works for you. The right medicine is one that helps your symptoms and has the fewest side effects.
You may start to feel better within 1 to 3 weeks after you start taking an antidepressant. But you may need to take it for as long as 6 to 8 weeks to see more improvement.
It’s best to keep taking your medicine for at least 6 months after you feel better. If this is not the first time you have been depressed, your doctor may want you to take these medicines even longer.
The thought of needing to take medicine for a long time can be scary. But many people are able to slowly stop taking antidepressants after a while.
Antidepressants can change how you feel and respond in certain situations, but they don’t change who you are. You may feel more relaxed, more social, more assertive, or more outgoing when you are taking an antidepressant.
Depression treated only with antidepressants, and not also with therapy, is more likely to come back later.
Antidepressants Are Not Just For Depression
Antidepressants are a class of drug that includes selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and atypical antidepressants .
These drugs might be called antidepressants, but they also work to treat anxiety. Typically, higher doses are needed for anxiety than for depression.
If You Experience Depression
If you experience depression, you may:
- feel very down a lot of the time
- no longer enjoy the things you usually enjoy
- find it hard to talk to people about how you feel
- find it hard to look after yourself and carry out day-to-day tasks
- self-harm or experience suicidal feelings, especially if you have severe depression.
Taking antidepressants may help to lift your mood. This can help you feel more able to do things that dont feel possible while youre depressed. This may include using other types of support for your mental health. See our page on treatments for depression to find other options which may help.
If you feel unable to keep yourself safe, it’s a mental health emergency.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence produces guidelines on best practice in healthcare. This includes guidelines for prescribing antidepressants for people with different levels of depression. These guidelines suggest the following:
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How Long Do Antidepressants Take To Work
If you have depression, you may start to feel better 2 to 4 weeks after starting an antidepressant but it can take up to 6 to 8 weeks to feel the full effect. Many side effects go away after a few weeks, so allow time.
If you have an anxiety disorder, it may take 4 to 6 weeks before you start feeling better and it may take up to 12 weeks to feel the full effect of the antidepressant.
In some people, antidepressants are not effective, no matter how long they are taken for.
Anybody who takes antidepressants should see their doctor regularly, especially in the first few weeks.
Doses And Duration Of Treatment
Antidepressants are usually taken in tablet form. When they’re prescribed, you’ll start on the lowest possible dose thought necessary to improve your symptoms.
Antidepressants usually need to be taken for 1 or 2 weeks before the benefit starts to be felt. It’s important not to stop taking them if you get some mild side effects early on, as these effects usually wear off quickly.
If you take an antidepressant for 4 weeks without feeling any benefit, speak to your GP or mental health specialist. They may recommend increasing your dose or trying a different medicine.
A course of treatment usually lasts for at least 6 months after you start to feel better. Some people with recurrent depression may be advised to take them indefinitely.
Read more about antidepressant dosages.
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How To Take Antidepressants
Antidepressants are usually taken every day. It can take 1 or even 2 months to see the full results. You may need to try different kinds or amounts to find the antidepressant that works best for you.
Your doctor will let you know how long to take your antidepressant. If this is the first time you have been treated for depression, you will probably continue to take this medicine for at least 6 months after you begin to feel better. If this is the second time youve been depressed, you might keep taking the medicine for at least a year. Depression that comes back a third time may require you to continue taking an antidepressant for a longer time.
You can get unwanted side effects if you stop taking your antidepressant suddenly. If you want to stop taking your medicine, talk to your doctor first. He or she can try to help you avoid these side effects.
What Antidepressants Are Available
There are various medications for the treatment of . They can be split up into different groups. This article is mainly about the most commonly used antidepressants:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors
- Selective serotonin noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitors
Tricyclic antidepressants have been on the market the longest. They are considered to be first-generation antidepressants. SSRIs and SNRIs are second-generation antidepressants.
The following are prescribed less often:
- Adrenergic alpha-2 receptor antagonists
- Selective noradrenaline/dopamine re-uptake inhibitors
- Melatonin receptor agonists and serotonin 5-HT2C receptor antagonists
There are also medications that don’t belong to any group, as well as herbal products such as St. John’s wort.
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Types Of Antidepressant Medications
There are several classes of antidepressants within each class there are many individual medications. While all antidepressants work well overall, no drug or type of drug works equally well for everyone who takes it. You may be advised to try more than one type of antidepressant or to use a combination of antidepressants to seek relief from your distress.
The different types of antidepressants are listed in the order in which they are most commonly prescribed. Medications are referred to in two ways: by their generic name and by their brand or trade names. Brand names available in Canada appear in brackets.
This group of drugs, including fluoxetine , paroxetine , fluvoxamine , citalopram , escitalopram and sertraline , is usually the first choice for treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. These medications are known to have milder side-effects than some other antidepressants. Buspirone is similar to SSRIs and has been found to help with anxiety but not depression.
Common side-effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, dry mouth, headaches, anxiety, sedation and a decrease in sexual desire and response. This group of drugs may also cause a jittery or restless feeling and sleep difficulties, such as problems falling asleep, waking in the night, vivid dreams or nightmares.
Common side-effects are jitteriness and insomnia.
Common side-effects are drowsiness and weight gain.
My Depression Can Go Away On Its Own
Some people think, Maybe I should just ride it out and not take any medication at all.
Depression tends to get worse the longer it isnt treated, and untreated depression can lead to a number of other problems, including weight gain, physical pain and illness, alcohol and drug use, relationship difficulties, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Additionally, the longer you have untreated depression, the harder it is to achieve full recovery.
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